Vantage Drilling Company announced that it would purchase a 55% ownership interest in the Mandarin Drilling Corporation, giving the company full and complete ownership of the corporation.

Mandarin Drilling Corporation is the owner of the Platinum Explorer, an ultra-deepwater drill ship that is being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. of South Korea.

Vantage Drilling Company is paying approximately $139.7 million in cash and other consideration to F3 Capital for the 55% stake. The company originally invested $123 million in 2008 for a 45% ownership share of the Mandarin Drilling Corporation.

Vantage Drilling Company will be responsible for funding the balance of the cost of completing the Platinum Explorer. The company estimates the cost of finishing construction at $650 million.

The Platinum Explorer is currently under contract with the Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC) of India at a rate of $585,000 per day. Vantage Drilling Company said that the contract would generate EBITDA of approximately $150 million per year to the company over the next five years.

The Platinum Explorer is designed to drill in water depths as deep as 10,000 feet, and has the capacity to drill up to a total vertical depth of 40,000 feet. The drillship will be completed and delivered for service in November 2010.

For more information on the company, go to www.vantagedrilling.com