Shaw Group to sell energy and chemicals division to Technip for $300 million

US engineering company Shaw Group Inc yesterday agreed to sell its energy and chemicals (E&C) division to French oilfield services group Technip, for $300 million as part of its plan to focus on core businesses.

Jim Bernhard, CEO of Shaw, said that selling the business would allow the company to pursue more opportunities in the primary industries it serves. "Shaw will continue to focus our efforts on growing our leadership positions in our core business lines."

The move comes eight months after the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based company sold its 20-per cent stake in nuclear power-plant company Westinghouse Electric Co to Toshiba Corp, Japan's largest maker of nuclear reactors, for about $1.6 billion. (See: Toshiba to buy Shaw Group's Westinghouse stake for $1.6 bn)

The deal also comes after Technip, Europe's second-biggest oil services company, entered into a deal in September 2011 to buy US underwater oil services company Global Industries, for $937 million to expand in the underwater oil service business.

Technip will acquire Stone & Webster Process Technologies and associated oil & gas engineering capabilities from Shaw group in order to enhance its position in the refining and petrochemical industries.

''We believe this divestiture creates the greatest value for our shareholders, while allowing Shaw to pursue additional opportunities for growth in the primary industries we serve,'' said J M Bernhard Jr, Shaw's chairman, president and chief executive officer. ''Shaw will continue to focus our efforts on growing our leadership positions in our core business lines and ensuring excellence and consistency across all operations.''

Operating in 48 countries, Paris-based Technip builds high-technology sub-sea equipment and platforms and onshore mega-complexes for the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors. It operates in three segments: subsea, offshore and onshore.

With 2010 revenues of more than €6 billion, Technip has a fleet of 17 vessels and 3 more under construction.