Brenntag Cuts Jobs, Closes Sites in Transformation Program

29.10.2020 - Brenntag has announced plans to cut its workforce by approximately 1,300 and close about 100 sites across all regions as it implements its transformation program – named Project Brenntag – to increase focus, reduce complexity and strengthen its leading global market position.

“To harvest our full potential, it is crucial to become leaner and more efficient,” said CEO Christian Kohlpaintner, adding that the adjustment in its global workforce will be “anything but easy but is necessary” to ensure Brenntag’s success in the long term.

The Germany-based multinational chemical distributor, which employs about 17,500 people worldwide, said it will strive to avoid compulsory redundancies, planning instead to use natural fluctuation, mutually agreed separation and regular and early retirement schemes. Less than 200 job losses are expected to occur in Germany.

As part of Project Brenntag, the group will consolidate its global site network to improve efficiency, leverage scale benefits across divisions and products, and get closer to business partners. About half of the closures will be on third-party logistics sites. At the same time, the company will invest in both existing and new sites, create regional hubs and close white spots in the network.

As announced last month, Brenntag will split into two global divisions starting in January 2021 – Brenntag Essentials and Brenntag Specialties. The company said it expects the transformation program to deliver additional operating EBITDA of €220 million by the beginning of 2023.

The total net cash outflow incurred in implementing Project Brenntag is expected to be about €370 million.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist