Dow Chemical Co , the largest chemical maker in the United States, said on Tuesday it plans to cut 5 percent of its workforce and shutter 20 plants as part of a restructuring program aimed at countering a slow global economy.
Dow and other chemical companies face slipping demand for products around the world. Rival DuPont slashed its earnings forecast and announced 1,500 jobs cuts.
"The reality is we are operating in a slow-growth environment in the near-term and, while these actions are difficult, they demonstrate our resolve to tightly manage operations..." Andrew Liveris, Dow`s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
The company, which hopes to save $500 million a year, said the cuts will result in a loss of around 2,400 positions worldwide.
Dow also plans to pare capital spending and investment in programs that are no longer a priority. It said those cuts should save it an additional $500 million.
Dow said it will take fourth-quarter charges of around 50 cents to 60 cents per share for asset impairments and write-offs, severance and other costs related to the measures.
Shares of the company's stock inched up 9 cents to $45.34 after the close of regular trading.
(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston and Michael Erman in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)