BASF to exit Europe market in optical brighteners for paper

11 November 2010 14:10  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--BASF is to exit the market for optical brighteners for paper in Europe and move its paper dye production from Grenzach in Germany to Ankleshwar in India, resulting in the loss of 300 jobs, the chemicals major said on Thursday.

The company said that its exit from the optical brighteners market would lead to the closure of the corresponding production operations at the site in Grenzach.

BASF also said that its paper dye product range would be reduced during the relocation of production to India.

"Currently, paper chemicals are a difficult business to be in. Paper manufacturing is increasingly concentrated in Asia’s emerging markets, which is where future growth in the paper industry will originate,” said Fred Baumgartner, head of BASF's paper chemicals division.

He added: “Our measures are a further important step toward adjusting production structures to changing market conditions and thus toward ensuring the profitability of our paper chemicals business in the long term."

The planned restructuring is expected to affect about 300 full-time jobs in Grenzach and will be implemented between 2011 and 2013.

About 180 jobs will remain at Grenzach, as BASF said it planned to focus the German site on the production of ingredients for the cosmetics and personal care industry and pigments for the electronics and coatings industries.

The company added that it was in talks with labour union representatives at the site and that many of the employees could be offered alternative employment within BASF.

BASF established paper chemicals as a separate division when it acquired Ciba in April 2009.

For more on BASF visit ICIS company intelligence
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By: Hilde Ovrebekk
+44 20 8652 3214

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