Babcock & Wilcox headquarters to move to Charlotte

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Babcock & Wilcox Co. announced Monday that it will become a publicly traded company and move its headquarters from Lynchburg to Charlotte, N.C.,  but only a few jobs will leave the Lynchburg area.

McDermott International Inc. is separating its operating subsidiaries, Babcock & Wilcox and J. Ray McDermott S.A., into independent, publicly traded companies by spinning off Babcock & Wilcox. The transaction is expected to be completed in the next nine to 12 months.

Babcock & Wilcox is a manufacturer of nuclear components that is currently applying to build the first nuclear reactor in the U.S. since the 1970s.

Just last week the company announced it had signed a lease on a 50,000-square-foot building in Lynchburg to house engineers and designers to help design its mPower reactor.

Company officials said Babcock & Wilcox’s operations should mostly be unaffected by the move.

“No significant impact is expected to any of our operational locations,” spokesman Jud Sessions said Monday. Out of the company’s 2,400 employees in the Lynchburg area, fewer than a dozen are expected to move to Charlotte.

Brandon C. Bethards will continue as Babcock & Wilcox’s president and CEO.

“We are excited about the opportunity to be a standalone public company and believe this transaction will position B&W to better capitalize on the significant opportunities in our end-markets,” Bethards said in a statement. “As an independent entity, we expect B&W to benefit from enhanced management focus and more efficient capital allocation, plus greater operational and strategic flexibility.”

The move will allow the company more efficient access to capital, the ability to use publicly traded stock to aid future acquisitions, and a sharper management focus and strategic vision.

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