Shaw Group may sell energy, chemicals unit - CEO

US-based engineering firm Shaw Group may sell its struggling energy and chemicals (E&C) division, according to executives from Shaw who spoke on a Monday conference call regarding company earnings.

Chief executive Jim Bernhard said his company had “multiple written indications of interest” from potential buyers for the segment.

The energy and chemicals division suffered a 46% reduction in fiscal-year 2011 revenues to $593 million. Overall, it posted a $190 million loss.

"We have looked over the years to grow that business both organically and through M&A transactions," Bernhard said. "But obviously we didn't think that those opportunities were at a value that we thought created shareholder value for us, so we're looking at the alternative."

Bernhard believes that the business, which is focused around ethylene technology, might benefit from being part of a more diversified international organization, according to a report from news agency Reuters.

Earlier this year, Shaw announced the sale of its 20% stake in nuclear power plant firm Westinghouse Electric to Toshiba Corp. of Japan.

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