Huntsman Corp., The Woodlands, TX, recently announced a company-wide initiative to reduce costs across its divisions and functions. Including steps begun during the fourth quarter of 2008, the company will reduce its full-time employment by approximately 1,175 positions by year-end 2009 - more than 9% of Huntsman's 12,770 employees. Full-time contractors working in the company's divisions and functions will be reduced by an additional 490 positions. Together, these reductions will result in operating cost savings to the company of approximately $150 million.
Huntsman has also announced that its Pigments Division plans to close its titanium dioxide plant located in Grimsby, UK. The Grimsby plant, the division's oldest and least-efficient manufacturing facility, has an annual production capacity of 40,000 tonnes of titanium dioxide. Pigment production at the plant would cease during the first quarter of 2009. Approximately 200 full-time employees and contractors work at the site. Annual operating cost savings resulting from the plant's closure are estimated at $28 million.
Peter R. Huntsman, president and CEO, said, "This restructuring will allow us to improve our business where we most acutely feel the effects of the present global economic slowdown, mainly in our Pigments and Textile divisions. While we are scrutinizing each of our business divisions, we remain optimistic in our current positions in Polyurethanes, Advanced Materials and Performance Products."
"We will also reduce our 2009 capital expenditures to $230 million - a reduction of $190 million from the $420 million spent on capital projects during 2008,” Huntsman added. “The steps announced today should take approximately $340 million out of our cost structure in 2009. These savings, combined with the $1 billion in payments we received during December from Apollo Management L.P., provide our company with a strong balance sheet and significant liquidity. Huntsman is well positioned to generate shareholder value and to prosper in these times of economic uncertainty."
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HUNTSMAN TO CUT WORKFORCE BY 9%; PLANS TO CLOSE PIGMENTS PLANT
February 4, 2009