The management of troubled engineering group Babcock Borsig has come under fire from American investor and corporate raider Guy Wyser-Pratte who owns a 5 per cent stake in the group. He has threatened to call an EGM soon in an attempt to have the current board sacked and bring about the cancellation of BB’s decision to sell its profitable submarine manufacturing subsidiary HDW.

Mr Wyser-Pratte’s main complaint is that the Babcock chairman, Klaus Lederer, had firmly committed to turning HDW into the group’s core business; the sudden reversal of this policy, following which BB shares fell by al;most 50 per cent, leaves BB with only its lossmaking engineering divisions; and in addition that its announcement was timed too late for stockholders to have any say at the recent shareholders’ meeting, a lack of transparency that he considers unacceptable.

Its not all bad news though. While Mr Wyser-Pratte has been going after the board, Frost & Sullivan have been singing its praises. After in-depth user studies involving plant managers and maintenance managers at 150 of Europe’s conventiaoal thermal power plants, F & S have selected Babcock Borsig Power, in competition with all the prominent OEMs, as its recipient for 2001 Best Aftermarket Customer Services Market Engineering Award.