Wacker Chemie AG intends to introduce a new site strategy to increase flexibility and further optimize the integrated production network of its Siltronic semiconductor subsidiary. Silicon wafer production is to be concentrated at lead sites according to individual diameters. This was decided today by the relevant WACKER Group committees. This approach involves, for example, discontinuing 150 mm wafer production at Freiberg and transferring these production volumes to Burghausen. In the 300 mm wafer segment, the Burghausen site is expected to become the focus of R&D-related tasks, with production being pooled at Freiberg and Singapore. Singapore will become the lead site for 200 mm wafers, too. The new site strategy along with the expected development of the semiconductor market results in impairments on fixed assets totaling some €120 million, which will be accounted for in the financial statements for the first half of 2009.
In addition to these realignments at Siltronic, WACKER will also implement structural improvements at WACKER SILICONES targeting at cost reductions, higher flexibility and improved plant capacity utilization. Compared to March 31, 2009, all these measures are expected to cut nearly 800 positions at Siltronic and WACKER SILICONES by the end of 2010. WACKER has already found a solution for 450 of the employees affected. To implement the remaining job cuts, WACKER will book provisions totaling about €15 million in Q2 2009. Since mid-2008, Siltronic has already reduced its workforce by some 550 employees, including external temporary workers.
In addition, the relevant WACKER Group committees decided today to execute a control and profit transfer agreement between Siltronic AG and Wacker-Chemie Dritte Venture GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wacker Chemie AG. Since such an agreement already exists between Wacker-Chemie Dritte Venture GmbH and Wacker Chemie AG, profits and losses at Siltronic can now be netted with Wacker Chemie AG’s resulting net income. WACKER expects this agreement to have a positive effect on 2009’s after-tax income ranging in the higher double-digit euro millions.
Further information on WACKER Group’s current trading contitions in Q2 2009 can be found in a press release which will be published today.