Clariant to axe 1,000 jobs over 24 months

Clariant to axe 1,000 jobs over 24 months

Swiss speciality chemicals firm Clariant AG plans to axe 1,000 jobs over two year as it trims down due to a restructuring and against the back of a series of divestments it has made. Clariant has already sold two businesses in just over a year and is in the process of selling its pigments unit, to focus on care chemicals, catalysis, natural resources.

CEO Hariolf Kottmann hinted that part of the rationale is to get the company into shape for acquisitions and investments that will accelerate a shift to higher-margin products.

“The rightsizing programme foresees a reduction of approximately 1,000 positions in service and regional structures. Approximately one-third of the reductions will be included in the divestment transfers,” it said, adding it would book a provision of around US$76 million in the fourth quarter for the programme.

A previously announced cost-cutting programme aims to reduce around 600 positions at continuing operations and generate 50 million Swiss francs in savings by the end of 2021.

“By avoiding remnant cost and consequently reducing complexity, putting an even stronger focus on innovation, sustainability and operational excellence, we put our company’s high value speciality businesses in a position to operate in an even more focused and agile manner. This will help us deliver above-market growth, higher profitability and stronger cash generation,” Kottmann added.

Clariant added that it continues to emphasise organic and inorganic growth to drive its portfolio upgrade.

Clariant had plans for a joint venture with its largest investor Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) that failed to materialise. Sabic, now owned by Saudi Aramco, continues to hold a 31.5% stake in Clariant, which it upped from 25% this year, after buying out an activist investor. Sabic had upped the increased equity in line with its strategy to achieve a leadership position in the Specialties business.


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