Transocean Launches $2.2B Bid for Norway's Aker Drilling

Transocean (NYSE:RIG) reached a $2.23 billion agreement on Monday to buy Norways Aker Drilling in a deal that carries a hefty premium of nearly 100%.

The acquisition points to confidence on behalf of Transocean, the worlds largest driller, in the oil exploration market despite economic turbulence.

Switzerland-based Transocean said the buy will contribute $1 billion in backlog and immediately add to its bottom line. The deal will be financed with existing cash and debt facilities.

Based in Stavanger, Norway, Aker drilling owns and operates two of the worlds largest and most advanced sixth-generation semisubmersible drilling units. The company is also building a pair of ultra-deepwater drillships in South Korea.

Aker Drilling is an excellent strategic fit for Transocean, Transocean CEO Steven Newman said in a statement. It allows us to enhance our position in Norway where we have enjoyed a long-term presence and excellent customer relationships.

Transocean agreed to pay 26.50 crowns per share of Aker Drilling, making a 98.5% premium on the companys Friday close. It also represents a 62% premium on the companys 30-day average price.

Coupled with Googles (NASDAQ:GOOG) $12.5 billion takeover of Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI), the Transocean move shows that at least some major companies are deploying cash despite serious economic headwinds and major market turmoil.

In a show of support for the deal, U.S.-listed shares of Transocean jumped 2.14% to $56.80 Monday morning. The stock has lost about 20% of its value so far in 2011.