Transocean says Icahn acquired 1.56 percent stake, seeks more

Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:39pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Transocean Ltd (RIG.N: Quote) has disclosed that billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has acquired a 1.56 percent stake in the offshore rig contractor and is looking to increase that holding.

Icahn is seeking regulatory approval to acquire shares worth more than $682.1 million, according to a statement on Transocean's Web site.

If he gets approval, Icahn would become one of Transocean's largest shareholders with just over 5 percent of the company, based on its closing stock price of $54.09 on January 11.

Transocean's biggest shareholder is Capital World Investors, a division The Capital Group Companies Inc, which owned 5.12 percent as of October 15, according to Thomson Reuters (TRI.N: Quote) data.

Icahn's move comes less than two weeks after Transocean agreed to pay $1.4 billion to settle U.S. government charges over BP Plc's (BP.L: Quote) massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2012 . Transocean employed nine of the 11 workers killed in the accident.

(Reporting By Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Paul Tait and Stephen Coates)

Investor Carl Icahn speaks at the Wall Street Journal Deals & Deal Makers conference, held at the New York Stock Exchange, June 27, 2007. REUTERS/Chip East