St. Paul-based Ecolab said Thursday it will cut hundreds of jobs to streamline operations and reduce costs following its merger with Illinois-based Nalco.
Ecolab officials say the job cuts will hit mostly corporate staff and be spread across the company's global operations in Europe, Latin America and Asia. The job cuts amount to about 1 percent of the cleaning products maker's workforce.
"We expect to have a headcount reduction of about 500 people to be taken during 2012. This will be among out of 40,000 people around the world," said Mike Monahan, company spokesman.
Ecolab and Nalco — which provides water treatment for industrial companies — employ about 2,500 Minnesotans, combined.
Ecolab says it is undecided how many Minnesota positions will be cut. Company officials hope to eliminate as many positions as possible through attrition, and achieve annual savings of as much as $250 million.