December 8, 2008

Dow Chemical to shed 5,000 jobs

U.S. conglomerate Dow Chemical said Monday it would reduce its staff by 11 percent and shutter 20 facilities as part of a restructuring effort.

The moves, expected to save $700 million a year in operating costs, means the loss of 5,000 jobs.

Temporarily, 180 plants may be idled, the Financial Times reported. In addition, Dow Chemical would reduce its contracted staff by 6,000, the Times said.

Transformation, by definition, requires a commitment to working differently, Dow Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris said. We are accelerating the implementation of these measures as the current world economy has deteriorated sharply, and we must adjust ourselves to the severity of this downturn.

Dow also said it would receive $9 billion from the Kuwait Petroleum Corp., in return for half of its commodity chemical business, down from $9.5 billion previously announced, the lower sum due to sliding market conditions, the Times said.

The company is raising money in part to acquire chemicals group Rohm & Haas, a $15 billion takeover that Dow says will save and additional $800 million in annual costs.