CB&I selling technology business, suspending dividend – Chron.com

Posted: August 10, 2017 at 6:01 am

Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle

CB&I has launched a recruitment and training campaign, an executive said at an engineering and construction forum this week.

CB&I has launched a recruitment and training campaign, an executive said at an engineering and construction forum this week.

CB&I selling technology business, suspending dividend

Financially struggling energy contractor CB&I said it's putting its technology business up for sale and suspending its investor payouts to help stabilize the bottom line.

With the energy sector's construction boom largely stalled, The Woodlands-based CB&I reported a $425 million quarterly loss on Wednesday and revealed that its revenues fell more than 40 percent from the same time last year.

CB&I's goal now is to come out of this difficult period as a smaller, more focused companygeared toward the liquefied natural gas, petrochemical, refining and gas power generation sectors, said new CEO Patrick Mullen. Much of the LNG and petrochemical growth is occurring along the Gulf Coast.

The former chief operating officer just stepped into the CEO role in July after longtime Chief Executive Philip Asherman retired.

"Although our second quarter results are disappointing, we are taking decisive actions to improve our operating performance and strengthen the company's financial position," Mullen said late Wednesday afternoon. "We have initiated a comprehensive cost reduction program and suspended our dividend."

He did not immediately provide any information on potential layoffs. The shareholder dividend paid out 7 cents per share each quarter.

CB&I employed about 32,000 people at the end of June, down from about 40,000 before it sold its capital services business earlier this year. CB&I also sold its nuclear construction business less than two years ago. CB&I employed about 54,000 people before exiting the nuclear business. CB&I first acquired the nuclear construction business as part of its $3 billion acquisition of The Shaw Group in 2012.

The selloff is continuing with the technology business to reduce its debt and help CB&I focus on its strengths in engineering, construction and fabrication, Mullen said.

The technology business includes about 3,000 patents and patent application trademarks and more than 100 licensed technologies in its engineering and fabrication work, according to CB&I.

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CB&I selling technology business, suspending dividend - Chron.com

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