DuPont to cut 1,700 jobs in Delaware

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

Hanergy solar firm suffers huge losses

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

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