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Dow Chemical Implements Cost Reduction Plans; To Cut Around 900 Jobs Worldwide

Dow Chemical Co. (DOW: Quote) said it is implementing cost reductions in line with its commitment to actively manage its portfolio and in response to continued weakness in the European economy.

Actions would include closing certain manufacturing plants in Europe, North America and Latin America, as well as canceling a selection of capital projects and implementing workforce reductions, as part of the company's previously announced cost-reduction efforts and its Efficiency for Growth program initiated in 2011. The company expects to cut approximately 900 positions worldwide, and in the first quarter, it will take charges totaling about $350 million for asset impairments and write-offs, severance and other costs related to these measures.

Dow also anticipates that it will save approximately $250 million annually from these actions. The savings are in addition to the $500 million in cash flow that Dow already delivered in 2011 from the inception in May 2011 of its Efficiency for Growth program. These savings are also part of the company's goal to deliver an additional $250 million of cash flow from cost interventions in 2012.

Further, Dow will shut down three plants that produce STYROFOAM Brand Insulation products located in Estarreja, Portugal; Balatonfuzfo, Hungary; and Charleston, Illinois; and idle a plant in Terneuzen, The Netherlands. Dow will also close its toluene diisocyanate plant in Camaçari, Brazil.

by RTT Staff Writer

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