BASF warns of tough restructuring after Ciba buy

26 February 2009 13:19  [Source: ICIS news]

LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany (ICIS news)--The acquisition of specialties maker Ciba will be followed by a thorough and in some cases tough restructuring process, BASF CEO Jurgen Hambrecht said on Thursday.

BASF expects to close the transaction by the end of the first quarter and start operational integration by the middle of the year. It is absorbing the Ciba businesses largely into its performance products segment and creating a new paper chemicals division.

Hambrecht did not indicate what restructuring measures might be adopted following the acquisition.

The chemicals giant said that it expected more than 1,500 job losses in 2009 related to its ongoing company-wide cost containment programme and previously announced plant closures in coatings and intermediates.

It has forecast a year of shrinking sales and lower profits.

Together with other ongoing plans the cost containment initiative, known as NEXT, was expected to add more than €1bn to earnings in 2012. "A large proportion of this amount is expected to be achieved as early as 2009 and 2010", Hambrecht said.

BASF was closing plants faster than originally planned and not replacing them as might otherwise have been the case with new capacities.

Capacity utilisation has been reduced by more than 25% worldwide and flexible working arrangements used at some sites, primarily the coatings businesses serving the automotive industry.

“Right now it is particularly important that we are very solidly financed and have one of the best ratings in the chemical industry,” Hambrecht said.

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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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