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Greatbatch sees job cuts from merging of two units

Greatbatch Inc. expects to eliminate an unspecified number of jobs through a restructuring that melds its commercial battery and medical units into a single entity, but company officials said Thursday that it’s too early to say how many jobs, if any, would be eliminated at its Western New York operations.

Greatbatch executives said the restructuring would save the company about $7 million to $7.7 million a year, partly by eliminating positions that will become redundant by merging the business units. The company has been increasing its focus in recent years on developing its own line of medical devices, as well as more complex systems, rather than individual components. The medical products unit generates about 88 percent of the company’s revenues.

“It’s a unified Greatbatch now,” said Christopher F. Knospe, a company spokesman. “It’s a way for us to focus on our commercialization opportunities and our future growth.”

While Knospe said the company has not yet determined how many jobs would be eliminated through the restructuring, Greatbatch said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects to pay $2.9 million to $3.2 million in severance and termination benefits to employees who lose their jobs because of the realignment.

This could mean that job losses would involve a few dozen positions across Greatbatch’s operations, which include about 650 positions at its facilities in Clarence and Alden, and about 3,300 jobs nationwide.

Greatbatch executives said the restructuring will help make the company more profitable, prompting the firm to hike its earnings forecast for this year to between $2 and $2.05 per share, after adjusting for one-time expenses. That’s up from its previous guidance of $1.90 to $2 per share. Analysts were expecting Greatbatch’s adjusted earnings per share to reach $1.96 this year.

Those earnings forecasts, however, do not include the $4.2 million to $5 million that the restructuring is expected to cost the company this year, including an estimated $1.3 million to $1.8 million for travel, recruiting and relocation expenses.

Knospe said that none of the company’s high-ranking executives are expected to move to the company’s year-old headquarters in suburban Dallas as a result of the realignment.

As part of the restructuring, Greatbatch named Dallas-based Mauricio Arellano, who had been president of the company’s medical business, to a new post as executive vice president of global operations. Susan M. Bratton, who ran Greatbatch’s commercial battery business in Massachusetts, will become the company’s executive vice president for business development.