PHILADELPHIA - Rohm and Haas Company announced restructuring initiatives to further improve the efficiency of its manufacturing network in Europe across several chemical businesses and its Electronic Materials business. The combined restructuring initiatives involve the closing or partial shutdown of manufacturing facilities in the United Kingdom and Germany, and include the elimination of approximately 400 positions from the company's global workforce.

Rohm and Haas Powder Coatings, Reading, Pa., a global market leader for powder coatings, will also consolidate its manufacturing facilities in Europe into three sites, resulting in the closure of its Aldridge, U.K., plant. Production will be transferred to its other European sites in Germany, Italy and Spain.

The proposed consolidation of the powder coating sites is in response to the business' commitment to reducing fixed costs and providing the most efficient and low-cost manufacturing model in support of its sales and marketing investment, and to focus on the goal of restoring sales growth and profitability.

The powder coatings market has been experiencing a number of challenges over the last several years, including over-capacity, lower demand in the ER powder coatings market, a shift in downstream customers from ER to emerging markets and sustained increases in raw material prices, according to Rohm and Haas.