By Houston Business Journal

Transocean Ltd. said Monday that it had appealed to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to overturn a December ruling by a lower court that prevented a payout to shareholders.

Transocean (NYSE: RIG), officially based in Zug, Switzerland but managed largely from Houston, had its planned distribution â¿¿ about $1 billion â¿¿ blocked by the Commercial Register of the Canton Zug in August. Transocean appealed that decision to the administrative court of the canton, but that appeal was rejected.

The commercial register cited potential legal hang-ups stemming from Transoceanâ¿¿s involvement in the Deepwater Horizon Gulf rig disaster in its decision to block the payment. Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig used by BP Plc to access the Macondo oilfield where the massive oil spill ensued.

At a May 2010 meeting, shareholders had approved distribution in a par value reduction of 3.44 Swiss francs ($3.59) per share, to be paid in four installment through 2010 and 2011.

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