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Rohm And Haas Restructures In Europe

Firm to realign manufacturing, restructure electronic materials, and shed 400 positions.

by William Storck
December 19, 2005 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 83, ISSUE 51

Rohm and Haas will realign its manufacturing network in Europe to improve efficiency. In addition, the firm's electronic materials business will restructure manufacturing, research, and sales and marketing operations in Europe and the U.S. About 400 positions will be eliminated as a result of the moves.

Four plants in the U.K. and one in Germany will be affected. In Germany, the company will close its Bremen facility, which makes materials for adhesives. In the U.K., it will shut the part of its Coventry plant that produces electronic materials, mostly for circuit board use. The powder coatings plant in Aldridge will close, with output shifted to Italy; the acrylic ion exchange resin production in Jarrow will be closed; and solder mask and ink production in Buxton will be halted.

In addition, Rohm and Haas is closing its electronic materials research facility in Norcross, Ga.

Pierre R. Brondeau, vice president for electronic materials, says, "The manufacturing realignments within several of our chemical businesses reflect the lower demand in many of their European markets, as well as the need to improve operating efficiencies and reduce excess capacity in the region." He notes the continued migration of some businesses, particularly printed circuit board production, from Europe and North America to Asia-Pacific.

As a result of the restructuring, which is expected to be complete in the next 12 to 18 months, the firm expects to take fourth-quarter pretax charges of about $65 million.

Rohm and Haas also updated its fourth-quarter guidance, noting that earnings excluding the charges will be between 65 and 70 cents per share. This compares with 56 cents in fourth-quarter 2004.



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