I am sorry of this has been posted before, I could not find it when I searched.
I was reading through Transocean Limiteds press releases and exchange announcements. And I noticed that the proposed USD$1 billion distribution of
capital to shareholders was approved at a Shareholders Meeting on the 14 May 2010.
Now, I am not a shareholder of Transocean Ltd, nor am I a Director, however I would have thought that as the owner of the Deepwater Horizon now
resting comfortably on the bottom of the Gulf, and with a potential series of both civil and potentially criminal legal actions on the way, and a lot
of finger pointing going on between BP, Transocean and Halliburton that a USD$1.0 billion capital return to shareholders at this point of time may not
seem to be the most prudent of actions if they were serious about having some legal and moral obligations towards a serious contibution to the massive
and as yet unknown cleanup costs.
I appreciate that they are saying that all costs and liability are pass throughs to BP, and that maybe the case. But I am also sure it is very
convenient to the Transocean shareholders to have taken a USD$1.0 Billion from the Companies bank account and have that now sitting in their own bank
accounts, and yes all on the right side of the law, but on the wrong side of moral. I also noticed that the Shareholders agreed to Discharge the Board
and the Executives from any liabailties for activities throughtout the year (how kind of them?). Here is the link.
I also attach some of the announcement below:
Transocean Ltd. Shareholders Approve Proposals at Annual General Meeting
ZUG, SWITZERLAND, May 14, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) --Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) (SIX: RIGN) announced the results of the 2010 Annual General
Meeting held today in Zug. Shareholders approved a number of matters, including the election of five directors, the authorization of a distribution to
shareholders in the form of a par value reduction and several other matters.
Shareholders today re-elected four Class II directors, Thomas W. Cason, Robert M. Sprague, J. Michael Talbert and John L. Whitmire, each for a
three-year term. Steven L. Newman was elected as a Class II director for a three-year term following the resignation of Robert L. Long from the Board
of Directors in connection with his retirement.
Shareholders also authorized the Board of Directors to make a cash distribution to shareholders in the form of a par value reduction in the aggregate
amount of 3.44 Swiss francs ("CHF") equal to approximately USD 3.11 per issued share to be calculated and paid in four quarterly installments. Based
on the total number of issued shares, including treasury shares, the distribution is approximately USD 1.0 billion. The quarterly capital reduction
payments of CHF 0.86 per issued share will be made in USD converted at the exchange rates prevailing approximately two days prior to payment, unless a
shareholder timely elects to receive such payment in CHF. The Board of Directors expects to set the respective payment dates of the four installments
in July 2010, October 2010, January 2011 and April 2011, or as soon after each of the four periods as is practicable. The actual installment payments
will be subject to the satisfaction of applicable Swiss law requirements.
In addition, shareholders approved the following:
-- Transocean Ltd. 2009 Annual Report, including the consolidated
financial statements, and statutory financial statements,
-- Discharge of members of the Board of Directors and the executive
officers of Transocean Ltd. from liability for activities during
fiscal year 2009, as is customary for Swiss corporations,
-- Appropriation of available earnings for fiscal year 2009 to be carried
forward in available earnings,
-- Change of the place of incorporation of Transocean Ltd. from Zug,
-- Amendments to the Articles of Association to reflect The Swiss Federal
Act on Intermediated Securities, and
-- Appointment of Ernst & Young LLP as Transocean Ltd.'s independent
registered public accounting firm for fiscal year 2010 and reelection
of Ernst & Young Ltd., Zurich as Transocean Ltd.'s auditor for a
further one-year term.