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Whatman Plans to Lay Off 160, Provides Details on Schleicher & Schuell Acquisition

NEW YORK, Jan. 3 (GenomeWeb News) - Whatman announced last week that a review of its business operations following the Dec. 1 acquisition of Schleicher & Schuell has been completed, and that the company has decided to cut approximately 160 jobs.


This reduction will reduce Whatman's headcount to about 1000, and result in a one-time charge of £11.4 million, the company said. Whatman announced in early November that it would be acquiring Schleicher & Schuell for €50.2 million.


Whatman also said that its US manufacturing operations will be focused in Stanford, Maine. Its US sales and administrative operations, as well as global business development activities, will be centered in Florham Park, NJ.


Additionally, former Schleicher & Schuell head office functions will be intergrated into Whatman and "streamlined," while the sales and business development activities of the two companies will be combined and "optimized."


Whatman said that it is working to narrow the product offerings of the companies from 21,000 to 7,000, an effort that will cost about £800,000. An additional £2.4 million charge unrelated to the Schleicher & Schuell acquisition will also be recorded in 2004.


In total, Whatman expects to record a charge of £14.6 million in 2004, of which the pre-tax cash cost is £13.8 million.


The company said its sales for the year are "disappointing," coming in about three percent lower than expected, but that earnings before exceptional charges remain in-line with expectations.


Preliminary results for the full-year 2004 will be released in April, Whatman said.

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