Bath Iron Works Sold To New York Investor Group
Bath Iron Works Corporation (BIW) of Bath, Maine, one of the country's leading shipbuilders, has been purchased by private investors led by Gibbons, Green, van Amerongen, Ltd., a diversified investment banking firm based in New York. BIW was formerly owned by Congoleum Corporation, headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H. Gibbons, Green is a well-established and active investment banking firm, which since 1969 has invested in 20 companies that continue to operate independently. The purchase price was not disclosed, but estimates put it at about $500 million.
BIW, recognized as an unusually capable and growing shipyard, is currently completing construction of the last of 24 guided missile frigates of the FFG-7 class. The yard now has under contract six Aegis cruisers, and last year won a $321.9- million contract as lead shipyard for the design and construction of the Navy's new Aegis destroyer, the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51). The company's present shipbuilding backlog is well in excess of $1 billion. In addition, BIW is actively involved in Navy overhaul and repair work. In addition to the yard at Bath, it operates a repair facility in Portland, Maine.
Edward W. Gibbons of Gibbons, Green stated: "We made an investment in Bath Iron Works because for decades it has demonstrated real leadership as a surface combatant shipbuilder for the U.S. Navy. In addition, it has proven very competitive in the ship overhaul market and has built a wide variety of merchant ships in the past. BIW has been a world leader in shipbuilding technology, and we are committed to supporting the shipyard with new systems and capital investments to assure that it remains at the head of the state of the art." William E. Haggett, president and chief executive officer of BIW, said: "We expect that business within the shipyard will continue under the same management organization. Moreover, BIW is presently increasing employment by adding technical staff and mechanics and no change is anticipated in that pattern, nor will there be any changes to labor contracts or ongoing relationships with the U.S. Navy.
"If anything, BIW as a company will have more autonomy than in the past. While Gibbons, Green and other investors will own the shipyard, they understand that the shipbuilding expertise resides here and plan to give BIW the support and flexibility required to achieve the company's overall objective, which is to retain its position as a recognized leader in its markets," Mr.