ZUG, Switzerland, Feb. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) today reported that the Company's Board has set the record and payment date for a payment to shareholders in the form of a regular capital reduction. On April 30, 2010, the shareholders of the Company approved a return of capital to shareholders through a reduction in par value in an aggregate amount equal to 0.52 Swiss francs (CHF) per share, which dividend in the form of par value reduction is to be paid in four equal installments. This installment payment is the third of these installments and will be in the amount of CHF 0.13 per share. The ex-dividend date for the payment of this third installment of the regular capital reduction is expected to be February 10, 2011, with a record date of February 14, 2011 and a payment date of February 24, 2011, subject to a required filing with the Swiss Commercial Register.
The third installment of the regular capital reduction will be paid in U.S. dollars based on the CHF/USD exchange rate available approximately two business days prior to the payment date. The par value of the Company's shares is currently CHF 3.93 per share. In connection with the return of capital described above, the par value per share will be reduced by CHF 0.13 to CHF 3.80. While the exact amount of the payment in U.S. dollars is not yet determinable, the CHF/USD exchange rate of CHF 0.9463/1.0 USD as of February 4, 2011 would result in an approximate hypothetical distribution of $0.1374 per share. It is expected that this distribution will be treated as a qualified dividend for purposes of U.S. taxes.
Noble is a leading offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. Noble performs, through its subsidiaries, contract drilling services with a fleet of 73 offshore drilling units (including eight drilling rigs currently under construction), located worldwide, including in the Middle East, India, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, the Mediterranean, the North Sea, Brazil, West Africa and Asian Pacific. Noble also owns and operates a dynamically positioned floating production, storage, offloading vessel. Noble's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NE". Additional information on Noble Corporation is available via the worldwide web at http://www.noblecorp.com.
This news release may contain "forward-looking statements" about the business, financial performance and prospects of the Company. Statements about the Company's or management's plans, intentions, expectations, beliefs, estimates, predictions, or similar expressions for the future, including any statements regarding the payment of any dividend or capital reduction or the timing and amount of such payment or the tax treatment of such payment, are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including the making of required filings with the Swiss Commercial Register. No assurance can be given that the outcomes of these forward-looking statements will be realized, and actual results could differ materially from those expressed as a result of various factors. A discussion of these factors, including risks and uncertainties, is set forth from time to time in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE Noble Corporation