BOSTON (May 14)—Cabot Corp., faced with overcapacity and a decline in tire production in Western Europe, plans to restructure its European activities in the coming 18 to 24 months. The restructuring would include the closing of a carbon black plant in Zierbena, Spain, and result in pretax charges of about $60 million against earnings this year and next, Cabot said. Closing the Zierbena facility would reduce Cabot's European capacity by about 60,000 metric tons. The company also plans to consolidate all European administration services at one location in Belgium and implement a "consistent staffing model" for all its European plants. Cabot said European sales volumes fell 5 percent last year. These proposed initiatives are subject to certain regulatory approvals and consultation processes with labor representatives.