Billionaire raider-turned activist Carl Icahn on Wednesday slashed his position in Transocean (RIG) - Get Report after saying that the offshore drilling rig company's CEO and his management team have done an "outstanding job given the challenging environment."
Specifically, Icahn cut his stake to 1.5% from 5.9%, according to a securities filing. In the filing, Icahn said that Transocean's CEO Jeremy Thigpen has done an outstanding job and that he "continues to have confidence in them going forward." He added that the fund reduced their position in the shares "in order to recognize a capital loss for tax planning purposes."
Icahn settled a proxy contest at the energy company in 2013 after it agreed to support a $3 a share dividend, enact an $800 million cost-cutting initiative and add an Icahn-backed representative to its board.
Icahn's significant cut in his Transocean investment represents the second time in the past couple weeks that the billionaire activist has substantially reduced his position in an energy company as the macro environment for oil and gas companies remains challenging.
Embattled Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) - Get Report on Tuesday announced that two board members resigned -- including one Carl Icahn-backed director -- in a move that comes roughly a week after Icahn slashed his stake in the natural gas and oil producer to below 5%.
At Transocean, Icahn accumulated shares at prices significantly above the company's current trading price of $10.02 a share. For example, in January 2013 Icahn accumulated shares at prices ranging from $19.10 a share to $23.76 a share. According to the securities filing Wednesday Icahn sold shares at prices ranging from $9.26 to $9.92 a share.