Houston-based Hercules Offshore Inc., which emerged from Chapter 11 in late 2015, has formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives, which may include a sale or merger. The offshore driller contractor, which operates a fleet of 27 jackups, including one rig nearing completion, and 19 liftboats, completed voluntary restructuring in early November (see Daily GPI, Nov. 9, 2015). The special committee, composed of all the independent members of the board, was not formed in response to any proposals, management said. It would be authorized, however, "to explore, review, and evaluate any potential strategic transaction" or any other alternatives, including a sale, merger or share exchange. No more details are being provided until a definitive agreement, if any, is completed. Hercules has about $514 million of cash, excluding $200 million in escrow for the newbuild Hercules Highlander nearing completion. It also has $450 million of total debt outstanding and 20 million shares of common stock outstanding.