UPDATE 2-Talisman Energy shares surge as Carl Icahn acquires stake

Mon Oct 7, 2013 7:24pm EDT
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* Icahn acquires about 61 million shares

* Wants to talk with Talisman about restructuring, board seat

* Shares jump in after-hours trading (Ads background on Talisman in final three paragraphs)

By Scott Haggett

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Talisman Energy Inc shares surged in after-hours trading on Monday after activist investor Carl Icahn said he had purchased about 61 million shares of the underperforming Canadian oil producer and may seek a seat on the company's board.

Talisman's New York Stock Exchange-listed shares surged 10.9 percent in after-hours trading after Icahn revealed his holding which gives him a stake of about 6 percent in the company. The stock closed at $12.75 in New York on Monday.

Icahn, a 77-year old billionaire, said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that he intended to talk with Talisman's management to discuss strategic alternatives for the company, include asset sales or restructuring. He may also seek a board seat, according to the filing.

The purchase, which makes him the company's second-largest shareholder, is the latest in the energy sector for Icahn. He was at the center of a 2012 boardroom coup at U.S. oil and gas company Chesapeake Energy Corp that eventually led to the ouster of its free-spending co-founder Aubrey McClendon.

The activist shareholder also successfully pressed for management changes at the world's largest drilling contractor, Transocean Ltd. In May, Transocean shareholders voted out Chairman Michael Talbert and backed an Icahn nominee.   Continued...