Talisman Energy Inc. (Talisman) (TSX:TLM) (NYSE:TLM) today announced that the company has entered into an agreement with Carl C. Icahn and his affiliates. As part of this agreement, Samuel Merksamer and Jonathan Christodoro will join the Company's Board of Directors in December 2013.
"I would like to welcome Samuel and Jonathan to our Board and look forward to their contributions as we continue to focus on our four strategic priorities and deliver sustainable shareholder value," said Chuck Williamson, Chairman of the Talisman Energy Board.
"In 2013, we cut capital spending and directed our efforts to growing high value, near-term production. We unlocked net asset value with approximately $1.5 billion in assets sales announced year-to-date, with more to come. We've improved our operational performance and reduced costs, including a projected 20% reduction in our year-end G&A run rate. We've made steady progress towards becoming a more focused and profitable company, and this momentum will continue through next year."
"I strongly believe in the potential of Talisman and I'm pleased to have reached this constructive outcome," said Carl C. Icahn, Chairman of Icahn Enterprises L.P. "We look forward to working with the Board of Directors and management with a common objective of creating sustainable value for all shareholders. Our record shows that our involvement on boards has created meaningful value for all shareholders. We hope and believe this will continue with Talisman."
The appointments of Merksamer and Christodoro further contribute to ongoing Board renewal at Talisman. Over the past 12 months, Talisman has appointed Brian Levitt, Tom Ebbern and Henry Sykes, bringing extensive experience in oil and gas, capital markets and governance to the Board. In addition, Kevin Dunne, a current Talisman director, is coming to the end of his term on the Board and will be retiring resulting in a 14-person Board. We thank Kevin for his contributions during his 11 years with the Board.
As previously announced, Talisman's President and CEO, Hal Kvisle intends to step down at an appropriate time in 2014 and the succession process is underway.
Merksamer and Christodoro are Managing Directors of Icahn Capital L.P., a subsidiary of Icahn Enterprises L.P. (Nasdaq: IEP), which together with its affiliates beneficially owns approximately 7% of the Talisman common shares outstanding. Related to these appointments, certain standstill restrictions will remain in effect until the later of the conclusion of the 2014 annual meeting or the date both of the Icahn nominees cease to be members of the Board. One of the new directors will sit on Talisman's CEO succession committee. In addition, Mr. Icahn has agreed that he will vote the shares he controls in support of Talisman's slate of director nominees at the Company's 2014 annual meeting of shareholders.