Shaw Group agrees to sell company

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - In a bombshell economic announcement, Baton Rouge's only Fortune 500 Company, The Shaw Group, is agreeing to a buyout and will sell the company to a business from Texas.

Shaw announced on its website it has signed a definitive merger agreement with Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., which is based in the Woodlands, TX. The deal is worth $3.04 billion in cash and stock.

Shaw employs 27,000 people worldwide. It pulled in nearly $6 billion in revenue last year. Shaw provides a wide variety of services, from restoring contaminated land to building nuclear power plants. Shaw employs about 1,000 people in Baton Rouge, and 4,000 statewide.

A spokesperson for the Shaw Group says they do not anticipate any major changes for any of their offices. They also say the company is not only buying Shaw, but also buying Shaw's talent. They anticipate their business will remain as it exists today.

"I am extremely proud of the company we have built and operated for the last 25 years. Shaw's leadership position in the power, environmental and infrastructure industries will complement CB&I's current business, and I am confident that, together, these two companies will continue to excel," J.M. Bernhard Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Shaw, said on the company's website. "While Shaw has been growing in our business and has many opportunities ahead of us, we believe this transaction is in the best interest of and creates significant value for our shareholders, our employees and our customers."

Bernhard plans to pursue other business and public service interests once the acquisition goes through. The website stated the transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013.

CB&I says they will call the new company CB&I Shaw. In an email from Gentry Brann, the Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, he states:

The combination of CB&I and Shaw will create one of the world's largest engineering, procurement and construction companies focused on the global energy industry. Shaw is a leading provider of EPC services to the energy sector with a focus on power generation, which complements CB&I's standing as a leading designer and builder of energy infrastructure projects for the hydrocarbon sector.

CB&I plans to maintain Shaw's well-known brand by incorporating the company as a business segment called CB&I Shaw. The company intends to maintain a significant presence in most of the markets Shaw currently serves.  

We do not anticipate any changes to any of Shaw's major offices. CB&I and Shaw's businesses are very complementary that we believe will grow stronger together. The skill sets of the companies and our employees work very well together.

Under the deal, Shaw shareholders will receive $41 in cash and CB&I stock worth about $5 for each of their Shaw shares. That represents an about 72 percent premium over Shaw's Friday closing stock price. Shaw shares jumped 68 percent in premarket trading Monday.

BRAC Comments on The Shaw Group Acquisition

The Shaw Group, Inc. (Shaw), a Baton Rouge-based Fortune 500 company, announced today it will be acquired by Chicago Bridge and Iron Co. (CB&I). The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) will continue to monitor how this transaction will impact jobs in the region. Shaw has indicated that they do not expect employment changes in Baton Rouge at this time and the company will operate as its own business segment, CB&I Shaw. In collaboration with the state, BRAC is reaching out through Shaw management to CB&I to discuss the future.

The Baton Rouge area has a deep knowledge base in engineering and construction, one of the region's most unique and competitive sectors. This sector is built upon engineering programs at Louisiana State University and Southern University and is supported by a large industrial base. With the acquisition of Shaw, CB&I will be one of the largest energy-focused engineering and construction companies in the world.

"BRAC congratulates Shaw and looks forward to welcoming CB&I to the Baton Rouge area," said Adam Knapp, President and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC). "With the Capital Region's strong talent base, we believe the past success of Shaw will translate into success for CB&I Shaw in the future. Together, our region's strengths and the new firm's global scale can create opportunities for further job creation in the Baton Rouge area."

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