Ecolab to shed 500 jobs in wake of Champion acquisition

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Ecolab Inc. plans to eliminate roughly 500 jobs nationwide following the company's recently completed $2.2 billion acquisition of Houston-based Champion Technologies, the Pioneer Press reports.

"I don't think there's anything affecting the Twin Cities. These should be primarily in North America," Ecolab spokesman Michael Monahan told Minnesota Public Radio. "They would include Texas, but also throughout the oil patch that extends through the south, the Dakotas."

The news came after the St. Paul-based maker of cleaning, pest elimination and water safety products reported its first-quarter net income more than tripled to $159.6 million, Wall Street Journal reports. Sales climbed 2.2 percent to $2.87 billion.

"The first quarter earnings reached the top end of our forecast range as we delivered excellent earnings growth despite comparison to a strong period last year and challenging market conditions in 2013," CEO Douglas Baker, Jr. said in a news release. "Our team did a good job delivering results, with new account growth, appropriate pricing and significant synergy and cost savings driving the strong double-digit earnings improvement."

The Star Tribune notes Ecolab boosted its full-year profit expectations because of the Champion purchase.

Ecolab finally closed the deal for Champion last month after resolving antitrust concerns with federal regulators,

The St. Paul firm also announced last month it was buying AkzoNobel's Purate business to expand in the antimicrobial water-treatment market.

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