BASFIn the Pigments & Resins business unit, European product and quality management and product safety will be pooled in Ludwigshafen. Image copyright BASF.
BASF has announced amendments to the structure of its Performance Products segment which will ultimately result in job cuts. The segment bundles BASF’s businesses with chemicals used in many end-user products. The group says that “increasing standardisation and the entry of new competitors have changed the business environment significantly.” This is said to have particularly impacted BASF’s plastic additives operations.
The objectives of the new structure include streamlining processes, investing in new technologies and adjusting the group’s portfolio and organisational setup, however the planned measures will lead to a reduction of about 500 positions worldwide by the end of 2015.
“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,” said Michael Heinz, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE and responsible for the Performance Products segment.
BASF says it aims to improve the efficiency and profitability of the Plastic Additives and Pigments & Resins business units in Europe, which are mainly located in the Basel area. In the Pigments & Resins business unit, European product and quality management and product safety will be pooled in Ludwigshafen. Global product management lead will be bundled in Hong Kong.
In the Plastic Additives business, a more market-oriented approach will be introduced.
The new strategy will lead to a decrease in the need for product-related research in plastic additives and pigments in the Research Center Basel, claims BASF. Specifically, the Research Center Basel will be scaled down. There will also be less need for administrative services provided by the Business Center Switzerland for the BASF Group companies in Switzerland. This will lead to a job reduction in the Basel-based Business Center Switzerland. The Paper Chemicals division, headquartered in Basel, is not affected by the current measures.
The restructuring will lead to a reduction of a total of up to 350 positions in the Basel area alone by the end of 2015. This includes the pooling of tasks at other sites. BASF has said that it aims to implement the job reductions related to the restructuring measures in the Basel area in a socially responsible manner, and states it will attempt to find job opportunities in other BASF Group companies for as many employees as possible.