BASF to move Plant Science headquarters to North Carolina, US

16 January 2012 12:10  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--BASF will move its Plant Science division’s headquarters from Limburgerhof, Germany, to Raleigh in the US, as it looks to concentrate its plant biotechnology activities away from Europe and into North and South America, the company said on Monday.

The company said the transfer of functions will happen at some time this year, although exact dates were not given.

Research and development activities for BASF Plant Science will be concentrated mainly in Raleigh in North Carolina, Ghent in Belgium and Berlin, Germany, while development and commercialisation of all products targeted solely at cultivation in the European market, including genetically modified starch potatoes (Amflora, Amadea and Modena), will be halted, BASF added.

“There is still a lack of acceptance for this [plant bio-] technology in many parts of Europe – from the majority of consumers, farmers and politicians. Therefore, it does not make business sense to continue investing in products exclusively for cultivation in this market,” said Stefan Marcinowski, member of BASF’s board of executive directors, responsible for plant biotechnology.

The company also plans to close its sites in Gatersleben, Germany, by the end of 2013, and in Svalov, Sweden, by the end of 2012.

Currently 157 employees work for BASF Plant Science in Limburgerhof, 57 people work in Gatersleben and six in Svalov. In total, it is planned to transfer 123 positions from Limburgerhof and Gatersleben to other BASF Plant Science sites, mainly Raleigh, and to cut 78 positions over the next two years.

Although it is planned that BASF will retain 11 employees at the current Plant Science headquarters in Limburgerhof, the group said the cuts will mean the overall reduction of 140 positions in Europe. However, BASF added that it aims to offer the affected employees other positions within BASF wherever possible.

“We regret that we are losing these high-quality jobs in Germany and Sweden,” said Marcinowski.

The activities of BASF's Crop Protection division in Limburgerhof are not affected, the company said.

For more on BASF visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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