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Seadrill confirms receiving rival bids for its debt restructuring

OSLO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Drilling rig firm Seadrill confirmed on Wednesday it had received two rival bids for its debt restructuring from unsecured bondholders.

The company, which filed for Chapter 11 restructuring in a U.S. court on Sept. 12, has sought alternative proposals for the plan put forward by its main owner, Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen and a group of hedge funds.

"We have received two alternative bids from unsecured bondholders ... We are evaluating these bids and are in active dialogue with the bidders," the company said in an emailed statement.

"Generally, the bids seek to replace some or all of the existing Restructuring Support Agreement (RSA) new money providers, while replicating the broad construct of the existing Plan," it added.

Fredriksen and a group of hedge funds have proposed to invest $1.06 billion via new equity and secured debt to restructure indebted Seadrill, once the largest drilling rig operator by market value.

Seadrill declined to provide more details on the bids or the bidders, but said its evaluation was pending "the receipt of a satisfactory deposit from bidders".

Seadrill said it expected the court to hold a hearing on the official restructuring plan on Jan. 10.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Seadrill received one binding proposal from a group of bondholders, including about 40 investors from the United States, Europe and Asia.

Kris Hansen, a lawyer for Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, who represents the group, has previously said the unsecured bondholders felt they would recover too little compared to Fredriksen and a group of funds supporting him.

Under the official plan, holders of Seadrill's $2.3 billion of unsecured bonds would receive 14.3 percent of the stock in the reorganised firm, while existing shareholders will get only 1.9 percent.

The official committee of unsecured creditors, appointed by the U.S. government bankruptcy watchdog, is seeking to interview Fredriksen under oath on Jan. 25, the court's filing showed. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by David Evans)