UK-based separations specialist Whatman has fleshed out its plans in the wake of the acquisition of Schleicher & Schuell, and says it plans to cut 13 per cent of its workforce after 2004 sales disappointed.
Staffing will be reduced by 160 - taking the total number of employees to just over 1,000 - while Whatman's paper conversion facilities in Germany and the UK will be consolidated into one site. The space vacated will be taken by the expansion of other production lines, according to the company.
The lay-offs will lead to one-off charges of around £11.4 million (€16.1m), recorded in Whatman's 2004 results.
Meanwhile, in the US, operations will centre in Sanford, Maine for manufacturing and Florham Park, New Jersey for global business development and US sales and administrative functions. The former S&S head office functions will be absorbed into Whatman.
Cutting the catalogue
Whatman is also planning a product rationalisation programme to reduce and focus the product range of the combined group from approximately 21,000 to 7,000 products, which will cost an expected £0.8 million.
Without divulging specific, Whatman noted that full-year sales were disappointing at 3 per cent below targets, although profits excluding exceptional charges would be in line with forecasts, it said.
A further £2.4 million charge unrelated to the S&S acquisition will also be booked in 2004, relating to leaseholds and management restructuring.
Together these actions will result in a charge of £14.6 million, of which the pretax cash cost is £13.8 million, higher than the £10m cash charge estimated on announcement of the acquisition.
The company's preliminary results for 2004, including further details of the integration and reorganisation plan, will be issued in April 2005.
Whatman bought German rival Schleicher & Schuell for €50.2 million on 1 December 2004,, allowing it to narrow the gap between itself and the separation industry leaders Pall and Millipore.