Ocean Rig UDW was priced at $17.50 per share
. Following the share sale, DryShips' ownership stake in the unit will be reduced to between 78% and 80%.
"We intend to take further steps to enhance OceanRig UDW's status as a pure deepwater drilling participant," Economou added.
The CEO went on to say that DryShips plans to "refocus on the shipping markets where we see opportunities developing for both the drybulk and tanker sector."
He said the tanker market is experiencing low freight rates, but that urbanization in China and India will drive medium- and long-term oil demand, improving market conditions for the shipping industry.
Analysts at Credit Suisse recently upgraded DryShips' stock to outperform from neutral. The equity research firm also lifted its price target on DryShips by $4 to $9.
>>DryShips Cruises on Upgrade
Separately, DryShips said recently it completed its
ATM Equity Offering
, raising around $350 million since initiating the offering on Sept. 7.
DryShips' Ocean Rig UDW subsidiary signed a $77 million contract with
Borders & Southern Petroleum
for a two-well exploration and drilling pact in the offshore Falkland Islands area for a period of 90 days, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2011.
>>DryShips Trades Higher on Drill Deal
There were three further optional wells that could extend the contract by 135 days.