Lime Rock Partners Announces Investment in Eastern Drilling


WESTPORT, Conn., July 27—Lime Rock Partners, a private equity firm based in Westport, Conn., today announces its investment in Eastern Drilling ASA, a Grimstad, Norway-based offshore drilling company listed on the Oslo Børs under the ticker EDRILL. Eastern Drilling has the industry’s largest and most modern semi-submersible drilling rig under order with expected delivery in December 2007.

Lime Rock Partners invested in Eastern Drilling through a privately-negotiated $45 million convertible bond. Another party invested an additional $5 million through the same convertible bond. The proceeds of the bond, together with debt from DnB NOR and $200 million raised by the company in its recent initial public offering, will enable Eastern to fully finance construction of its rig. The rig is designed for environmentally friendly operations in harsh and deepwater environments and will have the capability to operate in water depths up to 10,000 feet. Samsung Heavy Industries is constructing the rig under a turnkey contract in Korea. Smedvig ASA, a leading offshore drilling contractor and major investor in Eastern Drilling, will supervise construction and marketing of the rig and operate it after delivery. Eastern Drilling holds an option to construct a second semi-submersible rig with Samsung Heavy Industries.

John Reynolds, Managing Director of Lime Rock Partners, said, “This is an important day for Lime Rock. We believe that the international drilling market has reached a point in which demand will be strong for Eastern’s highly capable rig. We are excited to be working with our new colleagues at Eastern Drilling and our longstanding colleagues at Smedvig.”

Arve Andersson, CEO of Eastern Drilling, added, “It is a great pleasure to add Lime Rock Partners as one of the anchor investors in Eastern Drilling. With the proceeds of our convertible bond and our recent IPO, our funding is now complete to finance the construction of the rig. The marketing of the rig to major oil companies will now begin so that it can commence work as soon as construction is finished in late 2007.”

For more information on Eastern Drilling, please visit

Lime Rock Partners is a private equity firm with $850 million under management dedicated to investing in energy companies with high growth potential. From offices in four major energy centers in North America and Western Europe, Lime Rock targets growth equity investments in conventional oil service, oil service technology, and exploration and production and processing companies. For more information, please visit

Back to News