BASFBASF predicts 500 job losses worldwide. Image copyright BASF
BASF has announced amendments to the structure of its Performance Products segment, which it says will ultimately result in job cuts expected to see the reduction of about 500 positions worldwide by the end of 2015.
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 are said to include streamlining processes, investing in new technologies and adjusting the group’s portfolio and organisational setup.
“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 and Resins business units in Europe, which are mainly located in the Basel area. In the Plastic Additives business, a more market-oriented approach will be introduced.
The company says the new strategy will lead to a decrease in the need for product-related research in plastic additives and pigments in the Research Centre in Basel, meaning the Research Centre 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 reportedly lead to a reduction of a total of up to 350 positions in the Basel area alone by the end of 2015. This is said to include 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.