Chemical giant will lay off about 3% of its global workforce in the next two years

Dow Chemical will reduce its global workforce by roughly 3% as part of an effort to streamline the company and prepare for the spinoff of its chlorine business. On 4 May, the company said it will eliminate between 1500 and 1750 jobs to ‘further enhance its organisational effectiveness.’ The layoffs will take place over a two year period, but it remains unclear which regions or departments will specifically be reduced.

In parallel, Dow says it will consolidate and shut down some of its manufacturing facilities, representing less than 1% of the company’s net property value. Dow expects that these actions will cost approximately $330–380 million (£217-250 million) in the second quarter of 2015, but will result in about $300 million in annual cost savings once fully implemented.

Dow intends to sell off around $8 billion-worth of business units by mid-2016, and has come under pressure from shareholders to take even more drastic measures. As well as the chlorine divestment, the firm agreed the sale of its Angus nitroalkane subsidiary for $1.2 billion last November, and has struck a deal with investors to split off its AgroFresh division for $860 million. Agrofresh makes products for treating and maintaining the quality of fresh produce post-harvest, which Dow says no longer fits with its strategy.