Pacific Drilling S.A. (NYSE: PACD) announced on Wednesday (Jan15) that an award has been issued in the previously disclosed arbitration proceedings between the Company’s subsidiaries, Pacific Drilling VIII Limited (PDVIII) and Pacific Drilling Services, Inc. (PDSI), and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (SHI) related to the contract for the construction and sale of the Pacific Zonda

Pacific Drilling ordered to pay $320Mln to Samsung over drillship order cancellation
Caption: Drillship Pacific Zonda - Image courtesy of Peter van Zanten

An arbitration tribunal in London, England (the “Tribunal”) awarded SHI approximately $320 million with respect to its claims against PDVIII and PDSI. The award does not include approximately $100 million in interest and costs sought by SHI, on which the Tribunal reserved making a decision to a later date.

As previously disclosed, in connection with the Company’s now concluded Chapter 11 proceedings, PDVIII and PDSI (the “Zonda Debtors”) filed a separate plan of reorganization (the “Zonda Plan”) under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, which was confirmed on January 30, 2019. Once the Tribunal’s award becomes final and unappealable, the Company expects the Zonda Debtors, which have approximately $4.5 million in cash and no other material assets, will be liquidated in accordance with the terms of the Zonda Plan.

The Company does not expect the Tribunal’s decision to have any material adverse effect on its operations or to cause any default under any of its material contracts including under the indentures for its outstanding notes. As a result of the Tribunal’s decision, the Company expects to recognize a loss of approximately $225 million during the fourth quarter of 2019, primarily related to the elimination of the Zonda receivable on the balance sheet.

PDVIII and PDSI are currently considering whether to seek permission to appeal and are exploring all available legal remedies. Under the rules governing the arbitration proceedings, PDVIII and PDSI have no automatic right to appeal and the grounds on which the High Court in London may grant permission to appeal are limited. PDVIII and PDSI must seek permission to appeal no later than 28 days from the date of the award, or by February 12, 2020.

Pacific Drilling CEO Bernie Wolford commented, “The Company is surprised and disappointed by the Tribunal’s decision. However, this outcome will not impact our commitment and ability to continue to deliver to our customers the highest level of deepwater drilling services in our industry.”

Source: Pacific Drilling