Cincinnati-based Chemed Corp.'s board of directors has approved a restructuring plan that will result in an aftertax charge in the fourth quarter of approximately $15 million to $18 million. A majority of the charges are noncash charges, and substantial savings are expected as a result of the restructuring initiatives.

Chemed's flagship Roto-Rooter subsidiary will exit various underperforming heating, ventilating and air-conditioning businesses and non-Roto-Rooter-branded plumbing operations. Divestment of these operations will enable management to focus on the core Roto-Rooter plumbing and drain-cleaning businesses, which it expects to expand through franchise acquisitions.

Among other major elements of the restructuring plan, Chemed will reduce corporate headquarters personnel, as well as reduce its board of directors by two inside directors. Also, Chemed's long-term debt will be restructured in order to take advantage of current attractive interest rates.