Blue Harbour’s Activism at Babcock & Wilcox
The case describes Blue Harbour Group's investment in Babcock & Wilcox and its transformation into BWX Technologies. In 2004, activist hedge fund Blue Harbour Group invested in Babcock & Wilcox, an energy and construction company. Blue Harbour developed an investment thesis around Babcock & Wilcox spinning off its non-nuclear, coal-based energy segments and focused on being a defense and nuclear power company. But when the company made the spin-off announcement, the stock price barely reacted. The case protagonist, Robb LeMasters (MBA ’05), managing director at Blue Harbour, joined the new company, BWX Technologies board of directors, to help guide it after the spin-off. The case allows students to discuss various value creation strategies that could be adopted by BWXT after the spin-off.
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