DuPont said it will cut about 28 percent of its workforce in its home state of Delaware in early 2016 as the chemical company proceeds with a merger with Dow Chemical.
“The effect in Delaware will be significant, reflecting the urgent need to restructure our cost base and, as part of that effort, reduce our corporate overhead costs so that we can remain competitive,” DuPont Chief Executive Ed Breen said in a letter to employees. The cuts will affect 1,700 employees out of 6,100 in the state.
The job cuts announced Tuesday are part a plan to reduce the workforce of 63,000 by 10 percent and trim costs by $700 million, Dan Turner, a spokesman at the Wilmington, Del.-based company, said in a telephone interview. That strategy was outlined Dec. 11, the day that the companies disclosed the merger. Dow and DuPont, two historic giants of U.S. industry, will join as equals in an all-stock deal that’s the first step in an effort to create three new businesses.
The jobs cuts are “deeply disappointing, especially to the thousands of Delawareans who helped this company grow and succeed for generations,” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) said in a statement. “For those affected by today’s announcement, they should know that the state will do all that it can in the coming months to assist them as they evaluate new opportunities.”
DuPont’s Breen said the company was required to notify the state by Dec. 31 of the job cuts. “Given that we are in the middle of the holidays, we would have preferred to wait until individual notifications were complete before reporting the full local impact,” he said.
After the merger, the specialty products business will remain in Wilmington, Breen said. The new $130 billion DowDuPont plans to combine products from both companies in the areas of agriculture, commodity chemicals and specialty products to create the new businesses.
— Bloomberg News
This year’s wild ride for Hanergy Thin Film Power Group ends with the solar equipment maker a shadow of its former self, about $14.6 billion in paper losses for its chairman, the departure of key executives, a lawsuit over unpaid rent, canceled contracts and a regulatory investigation.
Chairman Li Hejun, the leader of the solar group and a self-professed solar visionary, stands, as usual, at the center. According to regulatory filings made public this week, Li has agreed to sell a 6 percent stake in Hong Kong-listed Hanergy Thin Film at a 95 percent discount to where they last traded.
— Bloomberg News
● KaloBios, the biotech company formerly run by Martin Shkreli, says it is appealing a decision by Nasdaq to delist the company from its stock market. San Francisco-based KaloBios was notified last week that Nasdaq would move to delist the company’s stock because of Shkreli’s arrest and several other issues. Shkreli was charged with securities fraud earlier this month. KaloBios subsequently fired him as CEO, and he resigned from its board. He became infamous earlier this year after another company he led, Turing Pharmaceuticals, hiked the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent.
● Twitter has clarified its definition of abusive behavior that will prompt it to delete accounts, banning “hateful conduct” that promotes violence against specific groups. The social media company disclosed the changes in a blog post, following rising criticism that it was not doing enough to thwart Islamic State’s use of the site for propaganda and recruitment. “As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs, but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse,” Megan Cristina, director of Trust and Safety, said in the blog.The new rules do not mention Islamic State or any other group by name.
● A New York state appeals court threw out Facebook’s unusual malicious prosecution lawsuit against DLA Piper and two other law firms that have represented a fugitive who claimed a 50 percent stake in the social media company. Reversing a lower court ruling, the Appellate Division in Manhattan rejected “conclusory” allegations by Facebook and its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, that the firms knew or should have known that their client Paul Ceglia’s case was fraudulent and based on a forged contract. Ceglia, 42, a wood pellet salesman from Wellsville, N.Y., had sued Facebook and Zuckerberg in June 2010, saying a 2003 “work-for-hire” contract for Zuckerberg to do programming for Ceglia’s company Street Fax entitled him to half of Facebook. Federal prosecutors later deemed the contract a forgery and brought criminal charges against Ceglia. He had been free on bail ahead of a trial set for May 4, 2015, but early last March Ceglia removed his electronic ankle bracelet and disappeared, along with his wife, two children and a dog. In May, a state judge said Facebook and Zuckerberg could pursue claims that DLA Piper, one of the world’s largest law firms, as well as Milberg LLP and Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman, knew Ceglia’s lawsuit lacked merit. But in a 4-0 decision, the appeals court noted that the law firms had found experts to counter Facebook’s forgery claim and that Ceglia had passed a lie detector test.
— From news services
● 10 a.m.: National Association of Realtors releases pending home sales index for November.