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B&W cuts 51 jobs in Barberton, Copley

Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc. on Thursday laid off 51 people in Barberton and Copley as part of a larger 74 person reduction in workforce.

Employees were notified Thursday morning that they were being let go, with most of the reductions effective immediately, company spokeswoman Sharyn Brooks said.

“They are technical, non-technical and support roles,” she said. Prior to Thursday’s job cuts, B&W had 630 employees in Barberton and 125 in Copley; with the reductions, total local headcount with the reduction in force is now slightly above 700.

The job cuts were made to align costs with revenue, Brooks said. “The market continues to change and we need to change with it,” Brooks said.

B&W’s corporate headquarters is in Charlotte, N.C.; the company has about 5,000 employees globally. B&W makes and services coal-fired boilers and pollution control equipment for power plants and is involved in related industries. It has been struggling to compete in part because of the growth in power plants fueled by cheap fracked natural gas instead of coal.

In May, B&W reported it lost $120.3 million, or $2.73 per share, on revenue of $311.4 million for the quarter ending March 31. A year earlier B&W had lost $13 million, or 14 cents per share, on revenue of $391.1 million.

Earlier this month, financially struggling B&W agreed to sell its MEGTEC and Universal businesses, both in Wisconsin, to German company Dürr AG for $130 million. Proceeds will be used to pay down debt and improve B&W’s balance sheet.

In addition, B&W’s largest shareholder, Steel Partners, has revealed that it has offered to buy all of the company.

B&W shares on Thursday were down 5 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $2.37 as of 2:34 p.m.

Reporter Jim Mackinnon covers business and county government. He can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or http://www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ

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