Swiss Chemicals Maker Clariant to Cut 1,000 Jobs 

Clariant AG is looking to eliminate about 1,000 jobs as the Swiss chemicals maker reshapes the portfolio and prepares for a planned growth spurt in 2021.

One third of the reductions affecting services teams and regional operations will come from divestments, the company said in a statement. Clariant has already sold two businesses in just over a year and is in the process of selling its pigments unit.

Chief Executive Officer Hariolf Kottmann also signaled part of the rationale is to get the company into shape for acquisitions and investments that will accelerate a shift to higher-margin products.

Investors are waiting to see what’s in store for Clariant after big plans for cooperation with anchor investor Saudi Basic Industries Corp. failed to materialize. Sabic, now owned by Saudi Aramco, continues to hold a 31.5% stake after buying out an activist investor, although relations at the leadership level have been strained.

Sabic is considering an initial public offering of a specialty chemicals unit acquired via the $11.6 billion purchase of General Electric Co.’s polymers division in 2007, people with knowledge of the matter said this week. Under an original plan, Sabic and Clariant had aimed to combine forces in high-performance materials via a joint venture.

Clariant will book a 70 million-franc ($77 million) provision for its latest right-sizing measures that come in addition to 600 job cuts.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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