Owens-Illinois: Europe jobs to go in reorganization

Owens-Illinois Inc. said it expects to boost profits with its newly acquired European container company by cutting 950 jobs and production at European plants.
Officials at the Toledo-Ohio based Conta…

Owens-Illinois Inc. said it expects to boost profits with its newly acquired European container company by cutting 950 jobs and production at European plants. Officials at the Toledo-Ohio based Container glass giant said they expect to improve profits by USD 86 million to USD 266 million a year when reorganization of the new European business is complete. Owens-Illinois completed the USD 1.4 billion purchase of BSN Glasspack, the second-largest glass container maker in Europe, in summer 2004. BSN had sales of about USD 1.5 billion in 2003. About 950 jobs of 11,500 in Europe will be cut over the next two years, Owens-Illinois officials told analysts on 16 March 2005. The company did not say where the jobs would be eliminated but said it will cut production by 15% at five plants in Germany. It also will open a new European headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. BSN had its headquarters in Paris. Steven McCracken, the company“s chief executive, said the transition has been smooth. “We are a lot more alike than we are different,” McCracken said. Owens-Illinois took over 18 BSN plants in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. BSN mainly made bottles for wine, liquor, beer and other beverages. Owens-Illinois executives said savings from greater efficiency, wider margins, lower shipping costs and centralized purchasing could boost profits by up to USD 266 million a year from 2007, more than the USD 72 million the company anticipated in 2004. Gil Restrepo, president of Owens-Illinois Europe, said 37% of its container glass output in Europe is for beer and 18% for wine.