By Dow Jones Business News, October 07, 2013, 06:05:00 PM EDT
TORONTO--Activist investor Carl Icahn said that he has bought nearly 6% of Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM, TLM.T), the
Canadian oil and gas firm whose efforts to restructure, amid lower gas prices, have seen mixed results to date.
Mr. Icahn said over Twitter that he may have conversations with Talisman's management regarding strategic alternatives
and board seats, among other topics. The tweet came around the time of a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that
showed Mr. Icahn had acquired roughly 61.6 million of Talisman's shares.
The news sent shares of the Calgary, Alberta, company up 6.1% to $13.53 in after-hours trading.
Talisman has been hit hard by a slump in North American natural-gas prices, and has announced plans to raise cash by
selling as much as $3 billion in assets. The company, which depends on natural gas for the bulk of its earnings and has
posted a string of disappointing financial results, earned $97 million in the latest quarter, half the year-earlier
level. Its stock has languished after falling sharply in 2011.
A spokeswoman the Calgary, Alberta company said it appreciates "constructive input from shareholders" and takes "their
Chief Executive Hal Kvisle, who took the helm a year ago, has said that he won't rule out any changes to the firm,
including its sale, as he looks to reverse its declining fortunes.
For the moment, the company has said that it will sell assets in four key areas: a pipeline in Colombia, its rapidly
maturing North Sea oil business, and portions of two enormous gas reserves in northern British Columbia and eastern
The firm's efforts to restructure have so far been hit by a slowdown in deal-making due to flagging demand for Western
Canadian energy assets, especially from once-active Chinese buyers.
In recent years Canada has seen increased interest from activist investors seeking to shake up the country's famously
They have, though, had mixed success agitating in the country. In May 2012, New York hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman
won a high-profile proxy battle against Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP, CP.T), replacing seven directors and the
chief executive of Canada's second-largest railroad. Since then Canadian Pacific's share price is up around 70%. But in
April, another U.S. hedge fund, Jana Partners LLC, lost its fight to shake up the board and direction of Canadian
agriculture company Agrium Inc. (AGU, AGU.T) after shareholders rejected its five-person director slate.
--John Kell contributed to this article.
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