Paragon Offshore completes spinoff from Noble Corp., begins trading

HOUSTON — Paragon Offshore became Houston’s latest public company Monday morning when it began trading on the New York Stock Exchange following its split from Noble Corp.

Noble on Friday gave its shareholders one share of Paragon for every three they held in Noble. Trading of Paragon shares opened at $11.21 per share Monday morning.

“We are excited about the completion of the spin-off and the launch of Paragon Offshore,” said Paragon President and CEO Randall Stilley in a statement. “Our rich heritage from Noble’s 93-year history sets the stage for future growth opportunities while enabling us to continue delivering the safe, reliable and cost-effective operations our customers expect.”

Paragon — like Noble — is a provider of offshore drilling rigs. The company’s assets include the standard specification rigs that were previously part of Noble’s portfolio.

That generally includes rigs that are at least 15 year olds and have drilling equipment operated by mechanical as opposed to electronic means.

The Paragon fleet includes 34 jackup rigs, five drillships, three semisubmersible rigs and one floating production, storage and offtake vessel.

The existing Noble, meanwhile, operates more high-tech rigs and will focus on deepwater and ultra-deepwater operations.

Like other offshore companies, Paragon will contract its rigs, equipment and crew for oil and gas drilling and workover operations. Its customers include Brazil’s Petrbroas, Mexico’s Pemex and India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp.

The move comes on the heels of an effort Noble began in 2005 to modernize its rig fleet. The company announced plans for the spinoff in September 2013 and, at one time, was considering issuing up to 20 percent of Paragon shares through an initial public offering. In April, it scrapped that plan and instead decided to simply distribute shares to existing Noble shareholders.