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BASF Announces Restructuring Moves

Germany-based BASF SE has announced it will be restructuring so it can focus on customer industries. The initiatives include measures to further develop its Performance Products segment, such as establishing a new Paper Chemicals division, and a review of strategic options for its leather and textile chemicals business. BASF also is preparing to integrate Ciba businesses following the acquisition of Switzerland-based specialty chemicals manufacturer Ciba Holding AG.

"With these initial steps, we are very clearly focusing our business on the needs of our customers and markets and sharpening the profile of the segment's divisions," said Dr. John Feldman, member of the Board of Executive Directors, Performance Products segment. "At the same time, we are creating the conditions that we need to integrate the new Ciba businesses rapidly and efficiently in the next step. After closing, we will develop the detailed organization for the combined businesses with our new divisions together with colleagues from Ciba."

The Paper Chemicals division will comprise BASF's paper chemicals and binders and kaolin minerals businesses, presently part of the Acrylics & Dispersions division. The Acrylics & Dispersions division will be renamed Dispersions & Pigments, which will incorporate BASF's raw materials business for the coating and paint industry. The acrylics business will be moved to the Petrochemicals division, and the superabsorbants business will become part of the Care Chemicals division. Most of Ciba's Coating Effects business will be incorporated into the Dispersions & Pigments division following the discovery phase.

BASF's leather and textiles business, part of the Performance Chemicals division, recently has experienced low market growth and high competitive pressure. "Our employees have worked hard to improve the business in recent years," said Hans W. Reiners, head of Performance Chemicals. "In view of the difficult market situation, the results are not sufficient to ensure long-term success with our own means." Consequently, the business unit has launched further efforts to increase efficiency, with the expectation of reducing costs by 25 million euros by 2011. In addition, BASF is considering future strategic options including forming a joint venture or selling the business.

Initial organizational changes will be effective April 1, 2009, and the integration of Ciba into BASF is expected to begin in the second half of 2009.

February 10, 2009