Houlihan Lokey Advises Noble Legacy Noteholders

Houlihan Lokey is pleased to announce the successful restructuring of Noble Holding Corporation plc (Noble) through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.

Houlihan Lokey led the key negotiations on behalf of an ad hoc group of noteholders (Ad Hoc Group) of the $2.7 billion of senior unsecured notes (Legacy Notes) through the restructuring process. The transaction reduced the company’s debt from approximately $3.9 billion to less than $450 million, and Houlihan Lokey negotiated the terms for holders of the Legacy Notes to receive direct equity and warrants as well as rights to participate along with the priority guaranteed notes in a $200 million second lien rights offering that was partially backstopped and funded by the Ad Hoc Group. 

Noble is a leading global offshore drilling contractor operating a fleet of 12 jackups and seven floaters. The impact of the global pandemic in early 2020—in conjunction with turmoil among global oil producers—caused significant disruption to the company’s business. Faced with offshore industry headwinds, an overlevered capital structure, and an ongoing litigation brought on by its 2014 spinoff from Paragon Offshore, it was evident that Noble needed a comprehensive equitization of its existing capital structure.

Houlihan Lokey engaged in months of hard-fought negotiations culminating in a restructuring support agreement (RSA) among Noble, the Ad Hoc Group, an ad hoc group of holders of priority guaranteed notes, and the revolving credit facility lenders. Upon execution of the RSA, the company filed for Chapter 11 in July 2020. Noble’s plan of reorganization implements the transactions contemplated by the RSA by equitizing more than $3 billion of the Legacy Notes and priority guaranteed notes and providing the company with a $675 million first lien exit financing facility. The plan was confirmed on November 20, 2020, with overwhelming support from Noble’s stakeholders. On February 8, 2020, the company emerged from Chapter 11 and is well positioned for the future.

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