The segment bundles BASF's businesses with chemicals that improve the properties of many different end-user products. The portfolio includes ingredients for personal care, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, plastic additives, pigments and paper chemicals as well as chemicals used in oil and gas production and mining. In some market segments, increasing standardization and the entry of new competitors have changed the business environment significantly. This especially applies to the markets for plastic additives and pigments as well as for water, leather and textile chemicals.
BASF aims to adapt its businesses to the changed market environment and significantly increase competitiveness in the coming years by streamlining processes, investing in new technologies and adjusting its portfolio and its organizational setup. The currently 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 analyzed," said Michael Heinz, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE and responsible for the Performance Products segment.
In the business with leather and textile chemicals, BASF will increase its focus on the growing Asia Pacific region and high value-adding applications such as applications for the leather automotive industry and premium textile articles. The global R&D activities for both businesses will be established in Shanghai, China.