BASF to cut 500 jobs in performance products division

23 April 2013 11:31  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--BASF is to cut 500 jobs through restructuring of its performance products operations, with the bulk of the cuts to occur in Basel, Switzerland, the Germany-based chemicals company said on Tuesday.

The restructuring measures are aimed at improving the efficiency of BASF’s plastic additives and pigments and resins businesses, leading to 350 jobs being cut in Basel, and an additional 150 positions to disappear elsewhere, primarily in Europe.

The European product management, quality management and product safety operations for pigments and resins will be consolidated at the company’s Verbund headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany, while global product management activities for the division will migrate to BASF’s Hong Kong office.

In what the company describes as a more “market-oriented” shift, plastic additives product development will take place at BASF sites internationally, rather than being concentrated in one central location.

Supporting functions for the division, such as technology and strategy management, will be shifted to Ludwigshafen.

These measures will also lead to the scaling-down of BASF’s Research Centre Basel, and a reduced need for administrative services currently provided by the Business Centre Switzerland for the company’s operations in the country. The job cuts are expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

Michael Heinz, member of the BASF board of directors with responsibility for performance products, said: “The expansion of our specialty business in the Performance Products segment made us more robust to economic fluctuations. 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 analysed,” he added.

Last month, BASF announced plans reorganise its water, oilfield and mining solutions activities into a new global business unit, and that it intends to divest a France-based industrial water management business to a strategic partner.

By: Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214

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