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BASF to Reorganize Its Optical Brighteners for Paper Business to Deal with Asian Growth

With a view to future growth markets for paper chemicals and dyestuffs in China, Indonesia and India, BASF's Paper Chemicals division will reorganize its global business structures. The business in optical brighteners for paper is to be exited in Europe, and it is planned to close the corresponding production operations at the site in Grenzach, Germany.

In addition, BASF intends to relocate paper dye production from Grenzach to Ankleshwar , India . In the course of the relocation, the paper dye product range is to be reduced. Dr. Fred Baumgartner, head of BASF's Paper Chemicals division, commented: "Currently, paper chemicals are a difficult business to be in. Paper manufacturing is increasingly concentrated in Asia's emerging markets, which is where future growth in the paper industry will originate. Our measures are a further important step toward adjusting production structures to changing market conditions and thus toward ensuring the profitability of our paper chemicals business in the long term."

BASF plans to focus the Grenzach site squarely on the production of ingredients for the cosmetics and personal care industry in the future. Pigments for the electronics and coatings industries will continue to be produced in Grenzach as well. "We want to keep the production of UV filters and antiseptic products in Grenzach unchanged," said Gabriel Tanbourgi, head of the Care Chemicals division. Alongside production activities, Grenzach is also the global development and technical services hub for these two Care Chemicals product groups.

The planned restructuring is expected to affect about 300 full-time jobs in Grenzach and would be implemented in the period from 2011 to 2013. About 180 jobs are to remain at the site in the future. "This will mean profound changes for many employees and for the site overall in the coming years," said BASF's, President Human Resources Hans-Carsten Hansen. "We are well aware of our special responsibility in this regard. We see good chances to offer alternative employment to many employees affected by the restructuring at other sites in the BASF Group, especially in Ludwigshafen, Kaisten, Schweizerhalle, Hüningen and other BASF Group companies."

BASF Grenzach has been in deliberations with the responsible labor representatives regarding the planned structural changes and potential alternatives as well as the respective consequences for employees and for the site. Once these deliberations are concluded, the employers and works councils will enter any discussions required to agree on a reconciliation of interests and a social plan.

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