Talisman board to add two representatives of U.S. activist investor Carl Icahn

CALGARY – Two representatives of Carl Icahn will join the board of Talisman Energy Inc. (TSX:TLM), increasing the activist investor’s involvement in the oil and gas company’s key decisions.

One of Icahn’s representatives will sit on the board committee searching for a successor to Hal Kvisle, who plans to step down as Talisman’s president and chief executive next year.

Kvisle took the reins of the company last year and has since set out a new strategy that has honed its focus on the Americas and Southeast Asia.

Talisman announced last month it would sell 75 per cent of its assets in northeastern B.C.’s Montney formation to Progress Energy Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Petronas, for $1.5 billion.

Icahn revealed in October through regulatory documents that he had acquired about six per cent of Talisman’s stock, which he viewed as undervalued.

Icahn has since increased his holdings to about seven per cent, according to a joint announcement issued Monday.

Two managing directors from Icahn Capital LP — Samuel Merksamer and Jonathan Christodoro — will join the board this month.

As part of his agreement with Talisman, Icahn as agreed to vote shares he controls in support of the board’s slate of director nominees at the 2014 annual meeting of shareholders.

“I strongly believe in the potential of Talisman and I’m pleased to have reached this constructive outcome,” Icahn said.

“Our record shows that our involvement on boards has created meaningful value for all shareholders. We hope and believe this will continue with Talisman.”