AkzoNobel to streamline structure and office footprint in Germany

September 9, 2013

Following the recent announcements of plans to divest both its Building Adhesives business and Decorative Paints stores in Germany, AkzoNobel has informed employees of its intention to streamline its organizational structure in the country.

The proposals involve reducing the number of office locations from eight to three by the summer of 2014. The three offices will be based in Cologne, Hamburg and Stuttgart.

"By bringing office-based management and supporting staff together in fewer locations and better aligning them with the needs of our businesses in Germany, we aim to improve our operational effectiveness as well as lowering overheads," said AkzoNobel Executive Committee member Werner Fuhrmann.

Currently, office employees (including management, supporting staff functions such as HR and finance, and sales personnel) working for diverse business units and the country organization are based in eight office locations spread across Germany (Börnsen, Cologne, Düren, Essen, Hannover, Ludwigsburg, Norderstedt and Wuppertal). This highly fragmented footprint is the result of various mergers and acquisitions that have occurred during the years.

AkzoNobel's main offices in Germany will be sited at a new location in Cologne, providing workspaces for around 250 people. Sales offices in the north and south of the country will be consolidated in Hamburg and Stuttgart. The company expects to have completed the move by summer 2014.

"The need to further streamline our organizational structure in Germany has become increasingly clear in light of recent developments," continued Fuhrmann.

This June, AkzoNobel's Decorative Paints business in Germany announced plans to divest its network of over 70 stores for professional painters, having determined it can better cater to this market by focusing distribution through independent wholesalers.

In August, AkzoNobel agreed to sell its Building Adhesives business to Sika AG. Nearly two thirds of Building Adhesives' approximately 550 personnel are based in Germany.

Going forward, AkzoNobel will align the supporting management and staff functions for the country with the organization's changing dimensions.

When completed, these developments will result in a reduction of more than 25 percent in the total number of personnel employed by AkzoNobel in Germany to approximately 2,600.