Transocean plans $3.2B buyback, to list on SIX

The Board of Directors of Transocean Ltd. (RIG) has delegated to company management full authority to begin implementation of the company's share repurchase program, with an aggregate purchase price of up to CHF 3.5 billion (approximately US$3.2 billion). The share repurchase program was approved by shareholders at Transocean's May 2009 annual general meeting. The company plans to fund any share repurchases from its current and future cash balances and will not use debt to fund any repurchases. Repurchases may be suspended or discontinued at any time. 

The Board of Directors has also decided to recommend that the company's shareholders at their May 2010 annual general meeting approve and authorize the Board of Directors to pay a dividend denominated in Swiss francs for an amount equivalent to approximately US$1.0 billion, or about US$3.11 per share (based on currently outstanding shares), converted to Swiss francs at the exchange rate prevailing two business days prior to the annual general meeting.

The dividend would take the form of a reduction of the par value of the company's shares, and if approved, will be paid in four equal installments with expected payment dates in July 2010, October 2010, January 2011 and April 2011. Distributions to shareholders in the form of a reduction in par value of the company's shares, which is currently CHF 15 per share, are not subject to 35 percent Swiss withholding tax. Shareholders will be paid in U.S. dollars converted using the exchange rate prevailing two business days prior to payment, unless shareholders elect to receive the dividend payment in Swiss francs.
In addition, the company announced its intention to list its shares on the SIX in the second quarter of 2010. Listing on the SIX is subject to approval by the SIX. Transocean's shares will continue to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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