Outboard Marine To Lay Off 1,000

Wednesday, December 06, 2000
Boat manufacturer Outboard Marine Corp. said on Tuesday it plans to reduce its worldwide workforce by about 1,000 employees, or about 14 percent of its staff, and retained an investment banking firm to evaluate strategic options.

The company said the moves to reduce costs and improve focus on key business segments are necessary to offset softness in the company's operating performance, which resulted primarily from material supplier problems in the engine division along with a recent slowdown in the recreational marine market.

The company also said it is currently exploring strategic alternatives and has retained the firm of Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin to help in that effort.

Outboard Marine also said additional actions might be necessary if the recreational marine market continues to weaken and the company's operating performance does not improve.

"While we have largely resolved the supply issues that hampered our engine operations earlier this year and are now filling our outboard engine order backlog, OMC's financial performance has continued to decline in the fourth quarter, typically its slowest period," a company official said in a statement. "Therefore, we must take aggressive steps to secure the company's short- and long-term financial viability."

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