BASF Pursues Strategic Development of Styrenics Business

BASF is continuing to pursue the strategic development of its styrenics business. STYROLUTION will be established to make the business even more viable for the future.

BASF plans to carve out its businesses in styrene monomers (SM), polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene butadiene copolymers (SBC) and other styrene-based copolymers and establish separate companies. BASF will retain its global business in polystyrene foams. The SM/PS capacities in Ludwigshafen used to produce foams will also remain with BASF.

The carve-out is to be completed by January 1, 2011. STYROLUTION will play a leading role in the styrenics industry and will continue to improve its competitiveness.

"The establishment of STYROLUTION is a further step in the implementation of BASF's strategy for its styrenics business," said Dr. Martin Brudermüller, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE and responsible for BASF's plastics business. "Through this action, we will be able to sustain and improve our global business in an environment characterized by volatile demand, high pressure on margins and intensive competition. STYROLUTION will become the preferred supplier for customers globally thanks to its top technology, outstanding product portfolio and clear focus. At the same time, we remain open for other strategic options."

BASF will transfer its styrenics business at production sites in Germany (Ludwigshafen, Schwarzheide), Belgium (Antwerp), Korea (Ulsan), India (Dahej) and Mexico (Altamira) to STYROLUTION. Separate companies will also be established in other countries, for instance in the United States, Italy or China, where BASF has other styrenic activities, such as marketing and sales.

BASF currently employs approximately 1,460 people in the styrenics business. Sales of the business were about € 2.5 billion in 2009.

During the carve-out BASF is committed to ensuring that customers receive the same high quality standards.

Roberto Gualdoni, head of BASF's Styrenics division stated: "By focusing on styrenics, we are creating the flexibility to adjust even better to the challenges in the styrenics industry. Customer needs are the focal point of our business. They will profit from improved efficiencies, tailored services, faster technical support, as well as generally greater speed and improved competitiveness."

Styrenics are mainly used in household, office, electrical and communications engineering and packaging applications. Styrene copolymers are thermoplastics based on styrene monomers and acrylonitrile and have many different uses in the automotive and electrical industries as well as numerous everyday items.

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