LyondellBasell Industries is closing the former A. Schulman Inc. headquarters in Fairlawn, Ohio. The move will eliminate 43 jobs.
LBI — a global petrochemicals firm based in Houston and Rotterdam, Netherlands — acquired Schulman for $2.25 billion in February 2018.
LBI officials confirmed the closing and layoffs in a Nov. 18 letter to Ohio's Office of Workforce Development. Job cuts are expected to begin on or about Jan. 31, officials said in the letter.
In an email to Plastics News, a company spokeswoman said that around 20 of the Fairlawn positions affected will be moved to Houston or nearby Akron, Ohio, based on needs and skills.
LBI officials said in a statement that "in order to remain competitive, deliver a best-in-class organization centered on high-quality customer service and products, and recognize synergies associated with the acquisition of A. Schulman, LyondellBasell has decided to close its Fairlawn, Ohio office in 2020."
"A phased approach to the closure of this office is planned, with some individuals being asked to support the transition," they added."This decision was not made lightly, carefully considered the impact on the workforce, and was based on a variety of factors."
Officials added that LBI employs around 700 in Ohio working at 11 facilities, including Fairlawn.
Schulman had opened the 34,000-square-foot Fairlawn headquarters building in May 2013 after moving from another site in that same city. Schulman had been founded as a rubber brokerage in Akron in 1928.
When it opened, the new Schulman headquarters employed around 140. The acquisition of Schulman, a leading compounder and concentrate maker in North America and Europe, as well as a resin distributor in Europe, allowed LBI to combine the business with its own compounding unit to create North America's largest compounder, which now operates as LBI's Advanced Polymer Solutions unit.
Schulman had grown quickly through a series of acquisitions starting in 2008, but its $800 million purchase of compounding and thermoset firm Citadel Plastics in 2015 proved disastrous after problems rose with the quality of some materials made by some Citadel units.
In its 2016 fiscal year, Schulman took a $402 million charge related to the Citadel deal. Schulman had sales of almost $2.5 billion in 2017, its last full fiscal year before the acquisition.