BASF Takes Steps to Optimize its Operating Structure

BASF is taking steps to optimize its structures in order, according to a press release, to sharpen its focus on industries in which it currently operates. As part of this effort, the care chemicals division will now include all businesses that contribute to cleaning, personal care and hygiene in addition to human and animal nutrition and pharma.

The performance chemicals division will primarily offer specific solutions for a broad range of industries—including plastics processing—Ciba’s plastics additives business (part of the Ciba acquisition expected to be complete at end of the first quarter of 2009), among others, will be assigned to this division.

“With these initial steps, we are very clearly focusing our business on the needs of our customers and markets and sharpening the profile of the segment’s divisions," said John Feldmann, member of the board of executive directors responsible for BASF's performance products segment. "At the same time, we are creating the conditions that we need to integrate the new Ciba businesses rapidly and efficiently in the next step. After closing, we will develop the detailed organization for the combined businesses with our new divisions together with colleagues from Ciba.”

In addition to implementing current cost-reduction programs, BASF is reviewing future strategic options. In particular, these include the formation of a joint venture or the complete sale of the business. “The market requires this step, not just because of the fragmented supplier structure and the low market growth,” said Hans W. Reiners, head of the performance chemicals division.

The initial organizational changes will be effective as of April 1, 2009.

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