Solvay is an advanced materials and chemical company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers in diverse global end markets. Its products are used in planes, cars, batteries, smart and medical devices, as well as in mineral and oil and gas extraction, enhancing efficiency and sustainability. Its lightweighting materials promote cleaner mobility, its formulations optimize the use of resources and its performance chemicals improve air and water quality. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with around 24,500 employees in 61 countries. Net sales were € 10.1 billion in 2017, with 90% from activities where Solvay ranks among the world’s top 3 leaders, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 22%. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR) and in the United States its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a level-1 ADR program.
Transformation plan to simplify organization and upgrade innovation capabilities
Brussels, March 29, 2018 --- Solvay is taking a new step in its transformation, putting its customers at the core of its organization to enhance its long-term growth as an advanced materials and specialty chemicals company.
Solvay announces plans to simplify its organization that needs to be adapted to its portfolio which is now strongly focused on high-performance materials and tailored solutions, as well as to its changing customer base.
“This new step in Solvay’s transformation centers on better serving our customers. Over the past six years we built a business portfolio to generate superior and sustainable growth. Now we need to follow through and drastically simplify our organization and processes as well as align all our resources. This will allow Solvay to provide differentiated experiences for customers and maximize value for the Group,” said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay.
More specifically, the project would result in:
• A more agile organization to support customer needs
Solvay will simplify processes and tasks to focus teams on customers, allowing them to faster anticipate and better respond to their demands. Solvay will keep its decentralized model whereby its Global Business Units are responsible for developing their own strategic plans and implement them with the support of the Group.
• Stronger Research & Innovation capabilities in Lyon and an expanded R&I scope in Brussels
In France, Solvay plans to upgrade its largest global research site in Lyon to a center for advanced chemistry mid the region’s dynamic innovation ecosystem. In Belgium, the expansion of R&I in advanced materials science would coincide with plans to revamp the Brussels headquarters, fostering collaboration among employees and with partners.
• Relocation from Aubervilliers and Paris to Lyon and Brussels
As a consequence, Solvay plans to relocate its Aubervilliers and nearly all of its Paris activities to Lyon and to a lesser extent to Brussels, concentrating R&I into these centers.
The Group today launched the relevant information/consultation procedures with employee representatives. These procedures should be completed at the end of June. The Group is committed to supporting employees throughout this transformation while limiting job losses as much as possible.
The simplification of the organization should lead to about 600 net redundancies, mainly in functional activities, including 160 in France, 90 in Portugal and 80 in Brazil.
Natural turnover, voluntary leave and internal repositioning will help mitigate these impacts.
The concentration of the R&I and support activities would involve the transfer to Lyon and Brussels, over four years, of about 500 employees who can rely on comprehensive support from the Group to help them relocate.
An indication of the consequences on Solvay’s financial performance over the next three years will be provided with first quarter earnings.