Dow to Cut Global Headcount by 5%
October 24, 2012
The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) on Tuesday announced a restructuring program designed to accelerate cost reduction actions and advance the next stage of the Company's transformation in the midst of persistently slow macroeconomic growth.
These actions will result in a net reduction of approximately 2,400 positions, or five percent of the global workforce. The restructuring also includes the shutdown of approximately 20 manufacturing facilities. Once fully implemented, these actions are expected to result in approximately $500 million of annual operating cost savings by the end of 2014. The Company will take charges totaling approximately $0.50-$0.60 per share in the fourth quarter of 2012 for asset impairments and write-offs, severance and other costs related to these measures.
In addition, Dow will further reduce capital spending and investments for targeted growth programs that are no longer a priority in this environment. These measures are expected to deliver an additional $500 million cash impact. Taken together with the $1.5 billion of measures Dow has already initiated, this will bring the Company's stated cumulative intervention goal to $2.5 billion.
"The reality is we are operating in a slow-growth environment in the near-term and, while these actions are difficult, they demonstrate our resolve to tightly manage operations--particularly in Europe--and mitigate the impact of current market dynamics," said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow's chairman and chief executive officer.
"Earlier this year we announced targeted actions--levers we planned to pull to reduce costs and protect our earnings growth path. The interventions we are announcing today represent the next phase in our path to driving efficiency and prioritizing our growth programs. Importantly, we will continue funding projects where differentiation is rewarded even in this environment and where margin expansion opportunities are clear--for example in Dow AgroSciences, Dow Electronic Materials, and our Sadara and U.S. Gulf Coast investments. Taken on the whole, Dow's strategy remains intact, and our long-term growth fundamentals are strong."
Dow will shut down a high density polyethylene facility in Tessenderlo, Belgium, a sodium borhidrate plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, as well as a number of Performance Materials manufacturing facilities, including: an Automotive Systems Diesel Particulate Filters manufacturing facility in Midland, Michigan; Formulated Systems manufacturing facilities in Ribaforada, Spain, Birch Vale, United Kingdom and Solon, Ohio; and an Epoxy resins facility in Kina Ura, Japan.
Additionally, the Company will record an impairment charge related to the write-down of Dow Kokam LLC's assets, reflecting weak global demand for lithium-ion batteries; and will consolidate certain assets in its Oxygenated Solvents business, as well as shut down a number of other small manufacturing facilities. These actions are expected to take place over the next two years.
The Company will involve local stakeholders as defined in each country and in compliance with relevant information and consultation processes.
Source: Dow Chemical Co.
Engineering News Archive