Ecolab cuts 70 jobs in Eagan and St. Paul

  • Article by: SUSAN FEYDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 30, 2012 - 9:17 PM

Layoffs were part of a global reduction of the company's information technology workforce after the Nalco merger.

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Ecolab’s Donnell Slettedahl adjusted Ecolab products on storage shelves at Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis.

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Ecolab Inc. on Thursday laid off 70 Twin Cities-area employees as part of previously announced restructuring and cost-cutting measures connected to last year's $8.3 billion acquisition of water management firm Nalco Holding Co.

The employees worked in information technology departments at Ecolab's St. Paul headquarters and Eagan research and development facility, company spokesman Roman Blahoski said. They accounted for about 3 percent of Ecolab's Twin Cities workforce and about 20 percent of its local IT workforce, he said.

Ecolab also laid off about 40 other IT workers in other locations this week, Blahoski said. The company, which manufactures cleaning, sanitizing, pest elimination and water management products, operates in 160 countries.

The layoffs are part of plans Ecolab announced in January to cut about 500 jobs from its global workforce of 39,000 this year.

At the time the company didn't say where jobs would be eliminated but said most of the reductions would result from attrition and not filling some job openings that had already been posted. The company said the reductions would come in areas where there is overlap between Ecolab and Nalco. Over time Ecolab expects to eliminate about 1,500 additional duplicate positions.

Blahoski said Friday that most of the 500 job cuts have been completed, and that in addition to the IT employees, a small number of other area workers have been laid off.

Ecolab has said it expects about $75 million in 2012 cost savings related to the Nalco deal. It expects ongoing annual cost savings connected with the acquisition to be about $250 million, up from a previous estimate of $150 million.

Outlook for 2012

Ecolab also has said it expects 2011 adjusted earnings of $2.54 per share. The company expects earnings per share in 2012 to be $2.95 to $3.05, and said that cost savings will help offset the impact of some higher costs, including raw material costs and pension expenses.

Susan Feyder • 612-673-1723

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