US marine services firm McDermott International will split its two major subsidiaries, Babcock & Wilcox Company and J Ray McDermott, into two independent companies.

The separation is expected to be made through a spin-off of B&W, a transaction that is intended to be tax-free to McDermott shareholders.

Following completion of the separation, McDermott plans to be renamed J Ray McDermott, a Houston-based offshore engineering and construction company that owns a fleet of seven derrick barges.

The transaction is expected to be completed in nine to 12 months.