Hillenbrand Industries is
reorganizing, a restructuring that will cost 250 to 300 salaried
employees their jobs. The job cuts will occur from Hillenbrand's
workforce of 6,100 people worldwide.Tthe company had not yet determined
where the cuts -- roughly 4 to 5 percent of the total workforce --
would be made.
The company cut about 200 jobs in January of
2001 and about the same number two months later. Early this year
Hillenbrand announced it would trim another 100 jobs by closing a wood
casket manufacturing plant in Canada, making other cuts in the U.S. and
trimming its field service operations in Germany.
Hillenbrand officials said the reorganization will put more emphasis on Hill-Rom,
its fastest-growing business segment, clear the way for new
acquisitions and ventures and decentralize decision-making.The revised
Hill-Rom business structure includes a Care Environment Division, a
Service Division and an Americas & Asia Pacific Sales Division that
will be based in Batesville. The Clinical Division will be based in
Charleston, S.C., and the Europe, Middle East and Africa Division will
be headquartered in Paris.
Analyst William Burns of Johnson Rice
in New Orleans said he thought the new divisional structure is a sound
move. He said the restructuring signals that the company is ready
to make acquisitions and has turned its focus away from slower internal
growth in the casket and funeral planning businesses. The company
secured a $500 million line of credit last August and has another $140
million available to make acquisitions, Burns said.