The company’s current plan to pay down debt and invest in building new assets will destroy another $3.6 billion in shareholder value, Icahn wrote in a letter to shareholders today.
Icahn, who said he controls about 5.43 percent of Transocean, is urging fellow shareholders to support his proposal to increase the company’s dividend to $4 a share and elect three new board members. The Vernier, Switzerland-based offshore drilling company has proposed a $2.24 dividend and defended its 13 board members.
“It is evident that Icahn has failed to invest the appropriate time and analysis necessary to understand the cyclical and capital-intensive nature of the offshore drilling industry in general, and Transocean’s business in particular,” Brian Maddox, a Transocean spokesman who works for FTI Consulting, said in an e-mailed statement. “His focus is clearly on achieving potential short-term gains at the expense of the company’s future.”
Transocean fell 0.1 percent to $49.87 at 11:45 a.m. in New York. The shares have gained 12 percent this year.
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