Shaw Group: A post-Sandy rebuilding play?
This engineering company could benefit from civil works projects in the wake of the superstorm.
By Vivian Lewis, Global Investing
Could a tidal barrier system make sense for the New York harbor? This thought has led me to look at who got contracts for the major post-Katrina public works projects from the US Army Corps (which is authorized as part of the military to build levees, dikes and other flood control systems).
As it turns out, we already own it in our model portfolio. We previously purchased Shaw Group (SHAW) as a 'backdoor' way to buy Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI).
Shaw first came to my attention because it is building a US facility for disposing of surplus weapons-grade plutonium in cooperation with Areva of France, which we used to own. So when the bid from CB&I came along, I opted to buy Shaw.
I later learned that Shaw (out of Baton Rouge) helped provide basic supplies, water, new roofs and housing, plus electricity) after Katrina. Shaw then pumped out 50 billion gallons of water from New Orleans and ran shelters in Texas for disaster victims. Those are good references.
It then led the largest design-build civil works project ever awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Inner Harbor Canal Surge Barrier for New Orleans.
Shaw provided project management, design, and construction for the IHNC, which is two miles long and has three flood gates. The barrier is to keep the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway from surging as they did in 2005; the job was completed by Oct. 2009.
Shaw also worked for the MTA and Metro North in The Bronx to rebuild Yankee Stadium stations on the subway and railway beating the schedule thanks to pre-fab construction in 2009.
Chicago Bridge & Iron is an ADR. Despite its name, the company is not from Chicago, and it doesn't build bridges out of iron. Rather, the global engineering and construction group is incorporated in the Netherlands.
It has announced a planned takeover of The Shaw Group for just over $3 billion subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. We continue to recommend buying SHAW as a way to own the Chicago Bridge & Iron ADRs.
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