Minneapolis paint and coatings firm Valspar Corp. has laid off about 25 local corporate and sales workers in the last few weeks in an effort to restructure and shift resources, company officials confirmed Friday.
Affected Twin Cities workers include those in the corporate, finance and consumer sales units, said Tony Blaine, Valspar senior vice president of human resources.
Blaine noted that this latest round of departures is part of Valspar’s “continuous review” of resources.
“As we grow the company, we continue to look at where we have resources deployed,” Blaine said. “So this is not squarely because of our [recent] acquisitions. It’s just a normal review and realignment of resource deployment.”
Valspar generates about $4 billion in global revenue and has 10,500 workers worldwide, including about 400 corporate and research positions in Minneapolis. Employment has grown from about 9,700 in early 2012 to 10,500 today, due to recent acquisitions or retail partnerships in England, Ireland, Italy and with Ace Hardware Stores across the United States. With some areas growing, resources are shifting, officials said. Blaine said Valspar plans to add some workers in other areas next year.
Valspar is renovating its former Minneapolis headquarters building and plans to reopen it as an R&D center in May. Its current R&D center, which is nearby, has about 100 workers.
Blaine said more researchers will be hired once construction of the new labs is completed next year. He declined to issue a number.
Valspar has benefited from the recent rebound of the U.S. housing market, but has seen softening demand from certain industrial segments and countries.
Valspar downgraded its 2013 earnings forecast twice this year. Fiscal third-quarter results released in August showed revenue and earnings gains, but results still fell below its own internal expectations and below the expectation of Wall Street analysts. At the time, investors punished the stock.
In announcing third-quarter results in August, Valspar CEO Gary Hendrickson noted that protective industrial coatings sales fell in several countries as customers spent down existing inventories. He also noted that its Australian paint store chain was hurt by that country’s fickle housing market.
Dee DePass • 612-673-7725