The Woodlands, Texas - Huntsman Corp. aims to cut its workforce by 9 percent to reduce costs across its divisions and functions, saving a projected $150 million. The company also plans to cut another $190 million, from its capital expenditure for 2009.
The major polyurethanes supplier said 21 Jan 2009 that it had begun the process in the fourth quarter of 2008, and will reduce its number of full-time employees by about 1175 by year-end 2009, cutting Huntsman's workforce to about 11 000 people.
Full-time contractors working at Huntsman will be reduced by a further 490 positions. Total operating cost savings from these measures will be about $150 million.
Huntsman also said that it plans to close its 40-kilotonnes-per-annum titanium dioxide plant in Grimsby, UK, "the oldest and least efficient manufacturing facility," in its Pigments Division. The plant will be shut in the first quarter of 2009, with the loss of about 200 jobs, saving Huntsman annual costs of about $28 million.
"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," commented Peter Huntsman, president and ceo, in a company statement.
The Huntsman chief noted that, although the company is assessing each business division, "we remain optimistic in our current positions in Polyurethanes, Advanced Materials and Performance Products."
Peter Huntsman said the company will cut also cut 2009 capital expenditure to $230 million, from the $420 million spent during 2008.
This total of $340 million savings, "combined with the $1 billion in payments we received during December from Apollo Management, LP, provide our company with a strong balance sheet and significant liquidity," he concluded, noting that Huntsman is "well positioned to generate shareholder value and to prosper in these times of economic uncertainty."