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BASF to Reposition Global Pigments Business

BASF is repositioning its global pigments business. Following the Ciba acquisition, the chemical company now has the broadest product portfolio worldwide as well as a unique range of technologies and production know-how when it comes to pigments. After an in-depth analysis of the combined operations, the company will eliminate specific products and adapt production capacities to market developments.

As a consequence, approximately 500 of the current 2,900 jobs in the global pigment production will be redundant. The measures, which mainly concern azo pigments and phthalocyanines, will begin this year and are expected to be completed by 2013. BASF currently operates 22 production sites for pigments worldwide.

"At six sites in North and South America as well as in Europe we will close individual production plants. At six other sites in Asia and Europe, we will expand existing capacities or make better use of them," explained Dr. Markus Kramer, President of BASF's Dispersions & Pigments division.

In Europe, about 320 positions will be cut by 2013. This will mainly affect the sites in Paisley, Great Britain, and in Grenzach, Germany. About 90 positions will be cut at the South American site in Guaratinguetá,Brazil. The redundancies at our North American sites in Louisville, Kentucky, and Elyria, Ohio, will total about 80 positions.

"By streamlining our portfolio we will mainly eliminate overlaps within our combined portfolio. At the same time we are reducing overcapacities," said Andreas Türk, Group Vice President of the BASF unit Global Restructuring Management Pigments. All sites that are not directly involved in the production consolidation process will undergo regular checks establishing optimization potential.

"We will offer our customers enough time to adjust to the upcoming changes. Our marketing and sales teams as well as our technical services will support our customers during all necessary processes," underlined Kramer. Even when the optimization program has been completed, BASF will still have the broadest pigment portfolio and the most comprehensive color range. "Our main target is to improve efficiency and to ensure a sustainable and successful positioning for our pigment business in the marketplace. This combined with our unique expertise when it comes to formulations and additives enables us to offer new perspectives both to our customers and to our pigment business," stated Kramer.

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