Local impact from Shaw Group sale remains uncertain
Baton Rouge is still home to a Fortune 500 company, at least for another month or two. But it remains to be seen how much the pending sale of The Shaw Group to CB&I will cost the Capital Region in terms of talent and high-paying jobs. According to page 29 in a summary presented to CB&I investors, the merged company could achieve in the first month $30 million in annualized savings of “duplicative public company costs” by eliminating Shaw CEO Jim Bernhard Jr., executives that report directly to him, the board of directors and “others.” CB&I says it expects to save an additional $10 million the first year, in part through “corporate rationalization”—which is often a euphemism for shutting down units or laying off employees—with more savings from centralizing management operations and other areas in the months to come. When asked about layoffs or transfers to other locations, such as CB&I's administrative headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas, Shaw spokeswoman Gentry Brann says no changes to any of Shaw's major offices are anticipated “at this time,” adding CB&I and Shaw “will grow stronger together.” “The skill sets of the companies and our employees work very well together,” she says. Shaw shareholders today voted to sell the company to CB&I. The $3.04 billion deal, worth almost $47 per share in cash and stock, could close by mid-February after regulatory approval and receipt of Shaw's cash settlement for the sale of its Westinghouse stake. —David Jacobs
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