MEMC announces restructuring of company

MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR) announced a restructuring plan that includes cutting its workforce by 20 percent worldwide and reducing its polysilicon production capacity. The actions will be taken during the 4Q 2011 and 1Q 2012.

MEMC said it expects to take a charge in 4Q 2011 of approximately $700 million, of which approximately $520 million is expected to be non-cash. Cash use associated with the restructuring is expected to be $180 million.

As part of the restructuring, MEMC will:

  • Reduce its workforce by 1,300 workers globally, with 250 positions located in the U.S. and the rest in the Semiconductor Materials and Solar Materials segments;
  • Idle its Merano, Italy polysilicon facility, up to 6,000 metric tons of annual capacity, and may close it unless feedstock,power and other cost reductions are achieved, and reduce production capacity at its Portland, Ore. Crystal facility and will limit the ramp of the Malaysiawafering facility to 300 MW; and
  • Consolidate the Solar Materials and SunEdison business units into a single Solar Energy business unit, effective Jan. 1, 2012.

"We believe these actions strengthen MEMC in the near term and position us for more profitable growth in our core businesses – semiconductor wafers and solar energy systems," said Ahmad Chatila, MEMC's Chief Executive Officer. "Changed market conditions require that we improve productivity across all segments and in solar move to a more balanced manufacturing model aligned with our downstream business."

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