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18. June 2007

Chemtura Corp. plans cuts to gain annual growth

GUANGZHOU, China - Chemtura Corp. is restructuring its business, closing three facilities and cutting 620 jobs, with the aim of achieving annual growth of 20 percent.The plan combines the Middlebury, Conn.-based company's plastic additives and flame retardants divisions into a single unit called polymer additives. The new organization will include three units in addition to polymer additives—performance specialties, consumer products and crop protection. Chemtura reported sales of USD3.7 billion in 2006.
The firm is the result of a series of recent mergers. In 2005, Great Lakes Chemical Corp. and Crompton Corporation, which included the old Uniroyal Chemical operations, merged to become Chemtura. After all the changes, some reorganization is inevitable, said Lawrence Lau, commercial manager of plastics additives for the China region. The firm has facilities in Europe, the U.S., Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
The reorganization is expected to cost the firm USD25 million to USD35 million, and result in employment reduction of 10 percent. The downsizing will take about two months and involves closing antioxidant facilities in Pedrengo and Ravenna, Italy, and a related intermediates plant. The new structure also will increase the firm's focus on emerging markets and includes a new regional headquarters in Shanghai.

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