Official says DuPont workers will keep jobs with new owner
By Sally Voth firstname.lastname@example.org
The more than 300 workers at the DuPont Performance Coatings facility in Front Royal will keep their jobs despite the company being bought out, according to a plant manager.
DuPont announced Thursday that The Carlyle Group is buying the automotive coatings business for $4.9 billion in cash.
The sale is expected to close in the first three months of 2013, according to Gregg Schmidt, a spokesman for DuPont. He said there are more than 11,000 employees worldwide.
DPC supplies vehicle and industrial coating systems, according to a news release from DuPont, and expects to have more than $4 billion in sales this year.
"DuPont Performance Coatings is a leader in the automotive and industrial coatings sectors with world-class products and customer service," DuPont Chairwoman and CEO Ellen Kullman states in the release. "The business continues to grow and deliver solid results. After a careful review, however, we have determined that DPC's full growth potential would be best realized outside DuPont and through the sale to Carlyle. This transaction is consistent with our vision to be the world's most dynamic science company and long-term strategy of driving competitive advantages in agriculture and nutrition, advanced materials and biotechnology, which represent high-growth, high-margin opportunities."
She states later in the release that DuPont isn't abandoning the automotive industry, with the company generating more than $3 billion in sales figures from advanced materials that will be sold to the car industry.
"We will continue to work closely with automotive customers to apply our science-powered innovations related to light weighting of vehicles, revolutionary and environmentally friendly refrigerants, biobased seat fabrics and headliners, and next-generation biofuels," Kullman states.
Four hundred people work at the Front Royal facility, Jean Butler, human resources manager, said Thursday afternoon. Of those, 313 are DuPont employees, and the rest contractors.
"It's really not going to affect us really, other than we're not going to have the DuPont name anymore," Butler said. "We're still going to make paint. Everything is just going to stay the way it is. There should be no changes at the DuPont plant, not for manpower anyway."
DPC has been in Front Royal for more than 30 years, she said.
"For us, it's kind of good," Butler said. "We're looking forward to it. It's a big change, but folks were taking it pretty good."
A spokeswoman with The Carlyle Group had no comment Thursday on employment plans, and referred questions to the news release.
In the release, Carlyle Managing Director Greg Ledford, who is head of the industrial and transportation team, states DPC "is a successful business with attractive market positions, next-generation technology and established brands."
Gregor Böhm, Managing Director and co-head of Carlyle's Europe buyout team, states in the release, "DuPont Performance Coatings is a technology innovator and we look forward to building on its strong market presence to accelerate growth in emerging markets, particularly in China and Brazil."
Carlyle will be taking on $250 million worth of DuPont unfunded pension liabilities, according to the release.