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Arkema to cut 239 French jobs in restructuring

Stock MarketsJun 25, 2009 01:17PM ET
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PARIS, June 25 (Reuters) - France's Arkema plans to shed 239 jobs in France as it reorganises its methyl methacrylics (MMA) business because more of the chemical ingredient is being made globally.

The French company also said it would invest 40 million euros ($56 million) to strengthen its acrylics activities.

"Production capacities (of MMA) have increased significantly in recent years, particularly in Asia, which is having a structural effect on the balance of the market and on export outlets for European plants," the French chemical company said in a statement on Thursday.

Arkema said it would focus the production of MMA, a monomer or molecule used to make polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) -- acrylic glass -- at its site in Rho, Italy and stop producing MMA at its Carling site in the Moselle region of France, where 163 jobs will go along with 76 at its plant in Bernouville.

Instead, the Carling facility will be reorganised to focus on acrylic acid production, requiring a planned investment of 40 million euros. Carling is among the world's leading acrylic acid production sites, Arkema said.

PMMA, sold under the brand names Plexiglas and Altuglas, is used in a range of industrial applications, such as illuminated signs, cell phone displays, motor car rear light clusters and microwave oven doors.

PMMA is being produced by Arkema subsidiary Altuglas International, which Arkema says on its Web site accounts for a fifth of world production and sales of acrylic glass. (Reporting by Caroline Jacobs; Editing by Mariam Karouny and Jon Loades-Carter) ($1 = 0.7177 euro)

Arkema to cut 239 French jobs in restructuring
 

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