RPT-UPDATE 2-DryShips’ rig unit to raise $500 mln in bonds

(Repeats to additional clients)

* To offer bonds mainly to Norwegian investors

* Analyst says offering to remove financing concerns

(Adds analyst comments; updates share)

April 4 (Reuters) – Dry cargo transporter and oil driller
DryShips Inc said its majority-owned unit Ocean Rig
would raise nearly $500 million via bonds, which
could help it assuage concerns of financing the delivery of a
new rig.

DryShips owns six ultradeepwater drilling units, comprising
two semisubmersible rigs and four drillships, two of which will
be delivered to the company during 2011. Only one of those
drillships is yet to get a contract.

The unemployed drillship, Mykonos, will likely be delivered
in September and financing for it is contingent on a contract.

Analyst Salvatore Vitale at Sterne, Agee & Leach cited media
reports that Ocean Rig came very near to winning a contract with
Petrobras for Mykonos, but the Brazilian company has
now put the whole process on hold.

“Given that the contract is off the table for a number of
months, banks will be apprehensive about providing the financing
(about $495 million) for Mykonos,” Vitale said.

“The bond offering is DryShips’ way of getting the financing
concern out of the way.”

DryShips did not immediately comment on the veracity of the
Petrobras report.

DryShips said in a statement early on Monday the proceeds of
the offering, primarily to Norwegian investors, are expected to
be used to finance Ocean Rig’s drillships-building program.

Dryships shares were down half a percent at $4.72 in early
trade on Monday on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Megha Mandavia and Krishna N Das in Bangalore;
Editing by Vinu Pilakkott and Joyjeet Das)

RPT-UPDATE 2-DryShips’ rig unit to raise $500 mln in bonds