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Icahn questions Transocean management's strategies

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

(Reuters) - Billionaire investor Carl Icahn piled more pressure on Transocean Ltd , saying the offshore driller's mergers were "ill-advised" and development strategies "unsuccessful", and urged investors to vote for a dividend of $4 per share and a new board in the annual meeting on May 17.

Icahn has been campaigning for a higher payout for over a month. Transocean's board recommended on Sunday that shareholders approve a $2.24 per share dividend.

"Over the past several years ... the company has conducted ill-advised mergers, employed unsuccessful development strategies and squandered the substantial cash flow generated by the business," Icahn wrote in an open letter to Tranocean shareholders on Thursday.

The activist investor, who owns 5.61 percent of Transocean, wanted the company to replace its directors, including the chairman.

He requested shareholders to vote for his nominees, John Lipinski, José Maria Alapont and Samuel Merksamer.

Transocean could not immediately be reached for comment on Icahn's latest letter.

The company, however, said earlier on Thursday that it is confident that its dividend will maximize long-term value creation.

(Reporting By Thyagaraju Adinarayan; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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