Following a “false and malicious” claim from an anonymous analyst’s note, Babcock has insisted that the group’s finances are healthy.

Boatman Capital Research released a report last week said questioned the group’ relationship with the Ministry of Defence as well as criticise financials.

Following the claims, the company issued a statement to shareholders saying: “Babcock is issuing this statement to address recent speculation following the release of a report by the anonymous and so far untraceable Boatman Capital.”

“This report included many false and malicious statements which the group strongly refutes. At the same time, the group continues to seek to discover who is behind Boatman Capital.”

The Ministry of Defence has worked with Babcock for over 30 years and also responded to the report released by the anonymous author.

“We monitor the health of all of our strategic suppliers, including Babcock, and remain committed to working with them on a wide range of programmes,” said a government spokesperson.

“Babcock plays a key part in equipping our world-leading armed forces and the MoD spent more than £1.7 billion with the company last year, supporting thousands of jobs across the nation.”

Earlier in November, Babcock announced plans to close a historic shipyard in Devon. 

Jake McLean, who is the representative of the GMB union at Appledore, said the decision was “a devastating blow to the workforce and the local community”.

“We want answers from the government and Babcock about the package that was offered to save the yard,” he added.

When the note was released from Boatman Capital in mid-October, shares fell from 654p.

Shares in the group (LON: BAB) have since recovered and are currently trading +2.30% at 615p (1355GMT).

Russ Mould, who is an investment director at AJ Bell said: “While these comments partially addresses some of the criticism from Boatman, one has to question why it has taken Babcock nearly a month to go public on responding to the bear raid.”

“Boatman’s research note was issued in October when Babcock traded at 672p; its shares have since fallen by 10% in value.”

“There remain unanswered questions regarding Boatman’s allegations of cost overruns on several projects and potentially misleading margin forecasts in Babcock’s full year results in May. Plus there is the allegation that some of the senior leadership team are not fit for purpose.”