(Recasts, adds details from filing, share price, background)
Jan 25 Activist investor Carl Icahn said on
Friday that offshore rig contractor Transocean should
declare a dividend of at least $4 per share, and said if it
doesn't, he will propose it himself at the company's next annual
meeting, according to a regulatory filing.
Transocean earlier this month disclosed that Icahn held a
1.56 percent stake in the company and was seeking regulatory
approval to acquire shares worth more than $682 million, which
would make him one of Transocean's largest shareholders with a
stake just over 5 percent.
Shares of Switzerland-based Transocean, which had stopped
paying a quarterly dividend last year, rose 2.5 percent in
after-hours trading on the New York Stock Exchange in response
to Icahn's demand.
Icahn said in the filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commision that nothing in it "should be viewed as an
indication that the Reporting Persons intend to launch, or are
otherwise considering, a public takeover of the Issuer."
Icahn also said he planned to talk to Transocean management
about business and strategy, as well as the possible addition of
shareholder-selected nominees to its board of directors.
After paying a dividend in 2011 that was its first in nine
years, Transocean last year had to abandon quarterly payouts
that had totaled $3.16 per share -- about $1 billion per year --
in order to maintain a strong balance sheet and investment-grade
rating on its debt.
Shares of Transocean, owner of the world's largest offshore
drilling fleet, have risen more than a fifth since its
settlement with the U.S. government earlier in January over its
liability in the Macondo oil spill, which destroyed one of its
rigs and killed 11 people.
Icahn declared his initial stake in the company 10 days
(Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco and Michael Erman
in New York; Editing by Gary Hill and Leslie Adler)