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Fredriksen working around the clock to save Seadrill

Norwegian shipping magnate John Fredriksen is spending every waking hour trying to settle a rescue plan for his ailing company Seadrill, he tells Norwegian daily Dagens Næringsliv. This Wednesday morning, the share price took a new steep dive of almost 30 percent.

John Fredriksen is working 24/7 to save his struggling rig company Seadrill which is in the midst of rapid decline on the stock exchanges in both Oslo and in New York.

The Norwegian investor also owns the dry bulk carrier Golden Ocean but Seadrill is currently in the spotlight.

"I'm working 18 hour days and I will work day and night for the next three to four weeks. I have a very busy schedule and I don't have a minute to spare," Fredriksen tells Norwegian daily Dagens Næringsliv in an interview.

Seadrill lost huge sums during the crisis in the offshore industry and has accumulated debt of NOK 110 billion (USD 12.8 billion) to 40 different lenders.

This spurred the company to announce in January that it might prove necessary to apply for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Last winter, Fredriksen took aim at the company's former executive management headed by Tor Olav Trøim, and implied that the former management had driven Seadrill into economic problems. He now believes he can rectify the situation with hard work at the Fredriksen-empire's HQ in London.


"We are aiming to set a world record in restructuring at our little office. We fixed Frontline, Archer, Ardacia Petroleum, Deep Sea Supply, and Golden Ocean. It worked out very well. Now the Seadrill structure remains with the affiliated companies Sevan, North Atlantic Drilling, and Seadrill Partners. Now we have to work to fix Seadrill but everyone will have to contribute," Fredriksen tells Dagens Næringsliv.

Tuesday morning, Seadrill announced in a stock exchange brief that it had been granted a postponement on three of its major loans which amount to a total of NOK 24.4 billion. This news was one reason why the share price at Seadrill took a 40 percent dive Tuesday.

From when the Oslo Stock Exchange opened Wednesday morning until 11:15am (CET), the price for Seadrill's share dropped by around 27 percent.

Seadrill has 7,000 employees and operations in 15 countries. The most recent financial report for Seadrill for the full-year 2016 shows that the company booked revenue of USD 2.8 billion. In 2013 before the oil price plunge, Seadrill was the world's largest rig operator and an analyst darling.

English Edit: Gretchen Deverell Pedersen

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