Georgia senator made controversial investment in Lynchburg’s BWX Technologies
U.S. Sen. David Perdue profited from Navy contractor's stock while chairing subcommittee overseeing Navy fleet
U.S. Sen. David Perdue, one of Georgia’s two incumbent Republican senators who are facing a Jan. 5 election runoff that will determine the balance of power in the Senate, made profitable purchases of shares in Lynchburg-based nuclear fuel supplier BWX Technologies Inc. — the Navy’s sole nuclear fuel provider — just before Perdue took over chairmanship in 2019 of the Senate subcommittee overseeing the Navy fleet, according to reports.
Perdue was named chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower in January 2019, six weeks after he bought between $40,000 and $290,000 worth of BWX Technologies shares, according to a filing by The New York Times. The publication reported it was impossible to determine the exact amount traded because only ranges were reported in the disclosure forms.
At the time of the purchase, BWX’s stock was worth approximately $40 per share, according to stock records. A month after Perdue’s appointment, BWX Technologies stock jumped by 25%, according to stock records. While Perdue worked on the National Defense Authorization Act from February to June of 2019, he reportedly sold off all of his shares in BWX Technologies for approximately $50 per share.
“Like other publicly traded companies, BWX Technologies Inc. is not aware of, and does not control, purchases of its stock by individuals,” BWX Technologies spokesperson Jud Simmons said in a statement. “We were unaware of this matter until it was mentioned in recent media reports.”
In June, Perdue boasted that additional Navy funding had been allocated as part of the defense spending bill.
“The U.S. Navy is one of the most effective tools we as a country have to maintain peace and stability around the world,” Perdue said in a statement. “This bill takes critical steps to improve readiness and recapitalize our fleet. … As chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee, I’m committed to working with the Navy to improve the acquisition process and continue growing our world-class fleet in support of our National Defense Strategy.”
Company subsidiary BWXT Nuclear Operations Group Inc. this February was awarded approximately $1 billion in contracts from the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program — in addition to $2.9 billion in submarine reactor component and fuel manufacturing and long-lead materials contracts announced last year.
The company employs approximately 6,600 people across 12 major operating sites in the U.S. and Canada. BXWT also provides management and operations at the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Georgia voters have until Dec. 7 to register for the Jan. 5 election runoff between Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, whom Perdue has declined to debate ahead of the runoff.