NEW YORK (Reuters) - Deere & Co (DE.N) said it would combine its main worldwide agricultural equipment division with its smaller commercial and consumer equipment unit to reduce costs, starting on May 1.
Deere expects to take pretax charges of about $25 million, a sum that was not reflected in the company’s February earnings forecast, in its fourth quarter ending on October 31.
Deere’s new worldwide agriculture and turf division will have two presidents, with responsibilities divided by product type and geography, the company said on Tuesday. Six U.S. sales branch offices will be reduced to two.
The current president of the commercial and consumer unit, James Field, will report to CEO Robert Lane in a new role as a senior vice president.
About 200 jobs will be lost through voluntary separations, the company said, adding that Tuesday’s announcement would not affect its construction and forestry division or credit operation.
The company said last week that it would lay off 160 workers at a facility in Iowa, and in March it laid off 325 people from its construction and forestry division.
Earlier this year, its Brazilian subsidiary cut about 500 factory jobs, and Deere said last year it would close a plant in Ontario, eliminating 800 jobs.
In Deere’s 2008 fiscal year, the agricultural equipment and commercial and consumer equipment divisions together accounted for more than $20 billion of Deere’s $28.4 billion in sales.
Deere shares were down 30 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $37.17 in morning New York Stock Exchange trade.
Reporting by Nick Zieminski; Editing by Derek Caney and Lisa Von Ahn