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The Dow Chemical Co. recently announced it is implementing cost reductions in line with its commitment to actively manage its portfolio and in response to continued weakness in the European economy. Actions will include closing certain manufacturing plants in Europe, North America and Latin America, as well as canceling a selection of capital projects and implementing workforce reductions, as part of the company’s previously announced cost-reduction efforts and its Efficiency for Growth program initiated in 2011.
Dow reportedly anticipates that it will save approximately $250 million annually from these actions. The savings are in addition to the $500 million in cash flow that Dow already delivered in 2011 from the inception in May 2011 of its Efficiency for Growth program, and are part of the company’s goal to deliver an additional $250 million of cash flow from cost interventions in 2012. The company reportedly expects that approximately 900 positions will be eliminated worldwide, and in the first quarter, Dow will take charges totaling approximately $350 million for asset impairments and write-offs, severance, and other costs related to these measures.
“These actions, while difficult, are in full alignment with our commitment to continually manage our portfolio to adapt to changing and volatile economic conditions, as we are seeing particularly in Western Europe, and to preferentially invest in our fast-growing, technology-rich businesses,” said Andrew N. Liveris, chairman and CEO. “Today’s announcement further demonstrates our resolve and ability to take swift, strategic cash flow interventions that will keep Dow solidly on a trajectory to deliver $10 billion in EBITDA in the near term.”
Dow will shut down three plants that produce STYROFOAM™ brand insulation products in Estarreja, Portugal; Balatonfuzfo, Hungary; and Charleston, IL; and idle a plant in Terneuzen, The Netherlands. Dow will also close its toluene diisocyanate (TDI) plant in Camaçari, Brazil. In addition to these closures, Dow will consolidate certain other assets in its Polyurethanes and Epoxy businesses, optimizing their operations while remaining focused on meeting customer needs and sourcing through non-impacted assets. These actions are expected to take place over the next two years.
For more information, visit www.dow.com.