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NOBLE DRILLING CORPORATION AND THE WESTERN COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA ANNOUNCES LETTER OF INTENT

 HOUSTON, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Drilling Corporation (NASDAQ: NDCO) and The Western Company of North America (NYSE: WSN) announced today that it and Western have signed a letter of intent for the purchase by Noble Drilling of 9 jackup rigs and associated equipment from Western for $150 million in cash. The rigs to be purchased by Noble Drilling are: Apollo I, Apollo II, Apollo IV, Nike I, Polaris I, Polaris II, Triton I, Triton II and Triton IV. Also, contracts relating to these rigs would be assigned to Noble Drilling, subject to obtaining any required consents. The transaction is subject to certain contingencies, including financing by Noble Drilling, execution of a definitive agreement and approval of Noble Drilling's and Western's boards of directors, and is anticipated to close on or before Oct. 15, 1993.
 Noble Drilling's offshore fleet currently consists of 23 rigs, composed of 10 jackup rigs, seven submersible rigs, four posted barges and two platform rigs. Additionally, Noble Drilling has management contracts for 15 offshore rigs operating in the U.K. North Sea.
 James C. Day, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "This acquisition will be a continuation of our stated strategy on increasing our offshore fleet, both domestically and internationally. These units will significantly expand our jackup fleet, adding four units to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as diversifying our operations into new regions."
 Noble Drilling plans to finance the acquisition by means of a public offering of its securities to be registered under the Securities Act of 1933. This news release shall not be deemed to offer any securities of Noble Drilling for sale. Any such offering will be made only by means of a prospectus.
 Noble Drilling Corporation is a major drilling contractor with offshore and land operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Africa, Mexico, the Middle East and the Far East. The company's outstanding common stock and $2.25 convertible exchangeable preferred stock are traded in the NASDAQ/NMS under the symbols "NDCO" and "NDCOP", respectively.
 -0- 6/29/93
 /CONTACT: Byron Welliver, senior vice president-finance and treasurer of Noble Drilling Corporation, 713-974-3131/
 (NDCO WSN)


CO: Noble Drilling Corporation; Western Company of North America ST: Texas IN: OIL SU:

MP -- NY055 -- 6718 06/29/93 12:56 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 29, 1993
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