Bernhard Capital Partners brings newly re-established Brown & Root to Baton Rouge

Bernhard Capital Partners has partnered with Houston-based energy services giant KBR, Inc. to create a new Baton Rouge-based subsidiary company that will focus on the downstream, refining, petrochemical, chemical and manufacturing industries. The new company, which will be created from KBR’s Industrial Services Americas Group and Wink Engineering, will be called Brown & Root Industrial Services, re-establishing the name of a corporate powerhouse that for decades was one of the country’s leading industrial services providers. Halliburton Kellogg acquired Brown and Root in the 1990s.

“KBR had this piece of business that BCP invested in purchasing and we rolled the Wink organization into it to create this new entity,” says Brown & Root Industrial Services CEO Andy Dupuy. “We were happy to bring back the Brown & Root name. It has a very strong legacy and a very good reputation.”

The new company will be based in Citiplace and will employ some 6,000 workers in North America, including about 50 in the corporate offices and 500 field employees in south Louisiana. Given the industrial construction boom, company executives expect those numbers to grow rapidly.

“There is a lot of work out there and a lot of business opportunities,” says Fred McManus, the company’s president of maintenance. “This will provide new jobs and new opportunities for the people of Louisiana.”

The creation of Brown & Root Industrial Services is the latest addition to the growing portfolio of BCP, which was created by The Shaw Group’s founder and former CEO Jim Bernhard and several of his key executives from that company. They created the firm in 2013, after The Shaw Group’s acquisition by CB&I.

Like many key executives of the rapidly growing subsidiaries under the BCP umbrella, both Dupuy and McManus are former executives with The Shaw Group.

In addition to the Brown & Root deal announced this morning, KBR announced that EPIC Piping, a BCP portfolio company, plans to acquire KBR’s Canadian pipe fabrication facility. KBR will become a minority limited partner in EPIC Piping and will enter into an alliance agreement that will give KBR access to EPIC’s world class pipe fabrication facilities in Louisiana & Texas.

KBR expects to receive approximately $32 million in net cash proceeds from the two transactions which are expected to close prior to year end.

—Stephanie Riegel

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