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Carl Icahn, the US business magnate, has tried to use his 5.6 percent stake in Transocean Ltd., the world’s largest offshore oil rig contractor, to bully the shareholders to replace three of the company’s 14 board members, as well as offer $4 per share dividends.
As part of this battle between Icahn and the Transocean board, chairman Michael Talbert has decided to step down. He will renounce his position as chairman by November this year, by which time the company will be ready to announce a new independent chairman, and then leave the board entirely by the 2014 shareholders meeting.
Tlabert gave a statement in which he said that, “after consultations with our shareholders, I have decided to retire from the board on a timetable that will allow the board to carefully select a new chairman who will help guide the company in the creation of sustainable, superior value for all shareholders.”
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A total of five board members are up for re-election this year, but due to a period of underperformance under his stewardship, Glass Lewis & Co., a proxy advisor, and Institutional Shareholder Services, have recommended against re-electing Talbert.
Luke Lemoine, an analyst from Capital One Southcoast Inc., has suggested that Transocean and Talbert “are trying to show shareholders that the company will be taking a new direction with the board/chairman, but it will be on their terms, not Icahn’s.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com