BASF is strengthening the competitiveness of its Construction Chemicals division in Europe. Measures include adjusting the business to declining markets especially in Southern Europe and Great Britain as well as enhancing overall efficiency and customer focus.
The planned measures will affect about 400 positions. BASF aims to offer the employees other positions within the BASF Group wherever possible. Consultations with the responsible employee representatives will start immediately according to local law and regulations.
“The construction industry in many European countries continues to be challenged. We have developed specific measures to adjust to the local market environments and to overall strengthen our ability to create value for our customers and for BASF”, said Dr. Tilman Krauch, President of BASF’s Construction Chemicals division.
Adapting to market developments in Southern Europe and Great Britain
After the burst of the real estate bubble, construction activity in Portugal and Spain has plummeted below 50 percent of the pre-crisis level and continues to decline. Investment into construction projects in Greece has shrunk to less than 60 percent of its former volume also due to the public debt crisis. In Italy, construction shows weakness over the course of 2012.
BASF will adjust its Construction Chemicals marketing and sales organizations as well as production capacities in Southern Europe to the new market conditions.
Construction activity also in Great Britain decreased significantly since 2008. BASF will focus its Construction Chemicals business in Great Britain on attractive business segments and customers and will adjust its marketing and sales teams as well as its production capacities.
Strengthening efficiency in Germany and Eastern Europe
In the German market, the increasingly fragmented customer structure especially in the area of craftsmen is driving complexity of business processes. BASF will improve the efficiency of its internal processes to better address this complexity.
The construction sectors in several Eastern European countries have not developed as expected. For example, construction activity in the Czech Republic is negatively influenced by reduced public and private investment.
BASF will strengthen the competitiveness of its Construction Chemicals business in Eastern European core markets of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In smaller Eastern European countries more resource-efficient structures will be pursued to address business opportunities.
Sale of businesses outside the strategic focus
BASF is planning to divest the Winterthur, Switzerland-based MEYCO Equipment business comprising concrete spraying machines for tunneling and mining. The machinery business is driven by success factors different from the chemical industry.
BASF already announced that it is planning to sell its CONICA Sports Surfaces business in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Also within this business, the company sees only few synergies within BASF Group that can be used to further expand the business.