BASF Chief Extends Revamp to Tackle Paper, Oil Chemicals

  • About 120 jobs to be cut worldwide by end of next year
  • Businesses to be merged into two units based in Ludwigshafen

BASF SE extended a revamp of its performance-products division that supplies chemicals for oil-drilling to water treatment in the latest move by Chief Executive Officer Kurt Bock to streamline the German company’s sprawling portfolio.

About 120 jobs will be cut globally by the end of 2016 as BASF creates two new business units -- called paper and water, and oilfield and mining solutions, the Ludwigshafen-based company said Tuesday in a statement. The changes will take effect starting Jan. 1.

Six years after BASF acquired Ciba for $5 billion, Bock is still restructuring its under-performing performance-products division, which has already seen more than 4,500 job cuts and 35 plant closures. Bock two weeks ago cut targets for 2015 after a slump in oil prices and slowing demand from China and Brazil.

The reorganization will “foster customer and industry focus and increase competitiveness,” BASF said in the statement.

The shares were down 0.3 percent at 76.23 euros in Frankfurt trading. The stock has gained 9.1 percent this year for a market value of 69.9 billion euros ($75 billion).

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