Icahn slashes stake in Transocean by more than two thirds

Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network's Neil Cavuto show in New York February 11, 2014. Icahn has backed off from his campaign urging Apple to increase its stock buybacks, citing the company's recent repurchases as well as an influential proxy adviser's call against his proposal. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS MEDIA) - RTX18MUL

(Reuters) - Billionaire investor Carl Icahn cut his stake in rig provider Transocean Ltd by more than two-thirds “for tax planning purposes.”

The move comes a week after the activist investor trimmed his stake in U.S. natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp, indicating that he was reducing his exposure to oil-exposed companies.

Icahn, who accumulated a nearly 6 percent stake in Transocean in November 2013, reduced it to 1.5 percent, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday. (

Icahn said his director designees would continue to serve on Transocean’s board on the company’s request.

Chesapeake said on Tuesday that two directors, including a representative of Icahn, resigned from its board.

Transocean’s shares were down 0.99 percent at $9.92 in after-market trading on Wednesday.

Reporting by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila