BASF aims to strengthen the competitiveness of its Performance Products segment. The segment bundles BASF’s businesses with chemicals that improve the properties of many different end-user products. The portfolio includes ingredients for personal care, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, plastic additives, pigments and paper chemicals as well as chemicals used in oil and gas production and mining. In some market segments, increasing standardization and the entry of new competitors have changed the business environment significantly. This especially applies to the markets for plastic additives and pigments as well as for water, leather and textile chemicals.
BASF aims to adapt its businesses to the changed market environment and significantly increase competitiveness in the coming years by streamlining processes, investing in new technologies and adjusting its portfolio and its organizational setup. The currently planned measures will lead to a reduction of approximately 500 positions worldwide by the end of 2015.
“The expansion of our specialty business in the Performance Products segment made us more robust to economic fluctuations,” said Michael Heinz, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE and responsible for the Performance Products segment. “However, the growth and profitability of the standard products do not yet meet our requirements. We have therefore identified numerous measures, which we are implementing step by step. Further measures are being analyzed.”
BASF aims to improve the efficiency and profitability of the plastic additives and pigments and resins business units in Europe, which are mainly located in the Basel area. In the pigments and resins business unit, European product and quality management and product safety will be pooled in Ludwigshafen. Global product management lead will be bundled in Hong Kong. In this way, synergies can be generated by bundling expertise and competencies.
In the Plastic Additives business, a more market-oriented approach will be introduced. The product-related development and application technology will sharpen its focus on key topics and customer industries and will be organized more efficiently through a network of global competence centers in different locations worldwide. In addition, supporting functions, such as technology and strategy management as well as controlling, will be consolidated in Ludwigshafen.
The restructuring will lead to a reduction of a total of up to 350 positions in the Basel area by the end of 2015. This includes the pooling of tasks at other sites. BASF aims to implement the job reductions related to the restructuring measures in the Basel area in a socially responsible manner. BASF will attempt to find job opportunities in other BASF Group companies for as many employees as possible.