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8 Big Acquirers of 2011

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3. Ensco (ESV - Get Report) is a global provider of offshore drilling services to the oil industry. It has a fleet of ultra-deepwater semisubmersible and premium jack-up drilling rigs.

In February, Ensco announced it would acquire Pride International, an operator of a fleet of 26 mobile offshore drilling units consisting primarily of floating rigs, for a total consideration of $8.4 billion in a stock and cash deal, according to Bloomberg. Under the agreement, Pride's shareholders were to receive 0.4778 newly issued Ensco shares plus $15.60 in cash for each Pride common share they owned. The deal closed at the end of May.

When the offer was announced, it represented a 21% premium to where Pride's shares traded just before the announcement.

Pride's revenue and net income from the merger date were $440.1 million and $62.6 million, respectively, for the three-month period ended Sep. 30, 2011 and $591.3 million and $86.9 million, respectively, for the nine-month period ended Sep. 2011.

Of the 38 analysts covering Ensco, 76% rate it a buy and 21% rate it a hold. On average, analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock gaining 29.3% to $63.07 in the coming 12 months.

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