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Babcock & Wilcox Co (BWC): Blue Harbour Group Boosts Activist Stake To 9.9%

Blue Harbour Group, the hedge fund led by Clifton S. Robbins, has increased its activist stake in Babcock & Wilcox Co (NYSE:BWC). Blue Harbour, in a newly-amended filing made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, disclosed that it holds 10.54 million shares of Babcock & Wilcox Co (NYSE:BWC), up from 9.14 million shares the fund held earlier. The new stake is equal to 9.9% of the company’s common stock shares outstanding. In its latest 13F filing, Blue Harbour reported ownership of 7.33 million shares of Babcock & Wilcox Co (NYSE:BWC).

Clifton Robbins - Blue Harbour

Blue Harbour was founded in 2004 by Clifton Robbins, who is a former partner at private equity giant KKR. Blue Harbour Group mainly invests in Technology, Basic Material, Industrial Goods, and Services stocks. The value of the fund’s equity portfolio totaled $2.5 billion as of the end of September 2014. In its latest 13F, the fund revealed holding largest stakes, in terms of value, in Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM), Rackspace Hosting Inc. (NYSE:RAX), and Rowan Companies PLC (NYSE:RDC). The fund disclosed ownership of 4.98 million shares of Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM) as of the end of September 2014. Blue Harbour Group was bullish on Rackspace Hosting Inc. (NYSE:RAX) during the third quarter of 2014, as the fund boosted its stake in the company by over 150% to around 9.10 million shares. In addition, Blue Harbour loves Rowan Companies PLC (NYSE:RDC), in which it reported ownership of 9.78 million shares of the company.

Last month, Blue Harbour disclosed reducing its positions in CACI International Inc (NYSE:CACI) and Investors Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC). The fund cut its stake in CACI International Inc (NYSE:CACI) by around 1.18 million shares, currently holding 1.1 million shares, representing 4.9% of the company’s outstanding stock. The fund has been trimming its exposure to CACI International regularly since the third quarter of 2014. Blue Harbour seems to be a big fan of Investors Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC), in which it shed just over 2 million shares, bringing its stake down to 24.60 million shares of the company. As we reported on January 9, Blue Harbour had increased its stake in the company to 26.62 million shares from 22.34 million shares the fund reported in its latest 13F filing.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Babcock & Wilcox Co (NYSE:BWC) is engaged in providing clean energy technology and services, primarily for the nuclear, fossil and renewable power markets. The company also is a premier advanced technology and mission critical defense contractor. Babcock & Wilcox Co (NYSE:BWC) has a market cap of just over $3 billion, and pays an annual dividend of $0.4, on a yield of 1.40.

In November 2014, Babcock & Wilcox Co (NYSE:BWC) announced that its board of directors approved a plan for the tax-free spin-off of the company’s Power Generation business. The spin-off will create two independent, publicly traded companies, Babcock & Wilcox and BWX Technologies. Babcock & Wilcox will comprise the Power Generation business, while BWX Technologies will focus on the Government and Nuclear Operations business, as well as on the Nuclear Operations, Technical Services, Nuclear Energy and mPower businesses. The spin-off is expected to be completed by mid-summer 2015.

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