BASF SE is a German chemical company and the largest chemical company in the world. BASF originally stood for Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik (Baden Aniline and Soda Factory). Today, the four letters are a registered trademark and the company is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, and Zurich Stock Exchange. The company delisted its ADR from the New York Stock Exchange in September 2007.
The BASF Group comprises more than 160 subsidiaries and joint ventures and operates more than 150 production sites in Europe, Asia, Australia, Americas and Africa. Its headquarters are located in Ludwigshafen am Rhein (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany). BASF has customers in over 200 countries and supplies products to a wide variety of industries. Despite its size and global presence BASF receives little public attention as it has abandoned consumer product lines in the 90s.
At the end of 2006, the company employed more than 95,000 people, with over 47,000 in Germany alone. In 2006, BASF posted sales of €52.6 billion and income from operations before special items of over €6.7 billion. The company is currently expanding its international activities with a particular focus on Asia. Between 1990 and 2005, the company invested €5.6 billion in Asia, for example in sites near Nanjing and Shanghai, China and Katipalla in India.
72% of the BASF shares are held by institutional investors (AXA SA more than 5%, Allianz AG 2.6% and General Capital Group 2.1%). 45% of the shares are held in Germany, 17.3% in the UK and 13.5 % in the U.S.
BASF operates in a variety of markets. Its business is organized in the segments Chemicals, Plastics, Performance Products, Functional Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. The company occasionally advertises to the public using the tagline "At BASF, we don't make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better." Its slogan is "BASF The Chemical Company".
1. Engineering Plastics
BASF's Engineering Plastics consists of the "4 Ultras" - Ultramid® polyamide (PA) nylon-based resins, Ultradur® polybutylene tererphthalate (PBT), Ultraform® polyacetal (POM), and Ultrason® polysulfone (PSU) and polyether sulfone (PES).
BASF Styrenics consists of the Foams and Copolymers. BASF's styrenic copolymers have applications in electronics, building and construction, and automotive components.
BASF's Polyurethanes business consists of diverse technologies and finished products. Urethane chemicals are raw materials used in rigid and flexible foams commonly used for insulation in the construction and appliance industries, furniture, packaging and transportation.
Foams like Styropor® are generally used as insulating materials. They are eco-efficient and offer advantages over other materials in terms of cost-effectiveness, preservation of resources and environmental protection. Investments made for insulating materials usually pay for themselves within a short time and contribute to retaining and even enhancing the value of buildings.
5. Polyamides and Intermediates
BASF is a manufacturer of polyamide precursors and polyamide. BASF offer polyamide 6 and polyamide 6,6 polymers as well as precursors.
BASF was founded in Mannheim, Germany, by Friedrich Engelhorn in 1865 for the production of dyes. In 1867, research into synthesis of the dye indigo was successfully concluded. Until this time, indigo was extracted from plants and was expensive. Industrial production meant that the price could be cut drastically, and one effect was to make jeans affordable work clothes. The development of the Haber process from 1908 to 1912 made it possible to synthesize ammonia (commonly used in chemical and pyrotechnic warfare as well as some fertillizers), and in 1913 BASF started a new production plant in Oppau, adding fertilizers to its product range. BASF also acquired and began mining anhydrite for gypsum at the Kohnstein in 1917..
As a result of this monopoly, BASF was able to start operations at a new site in Leuna in 1916, where explosives were produced during the First World War. On September 21, 1921, an explosion occurred in Oppau, killing 565 people. This was the biggest catastrophe in German industry (see Oppau explosion). Under the leadership of Carl Bosch, BASF founded IG Farben, Hoechst, Bayer, and three other companies, thus losing its independence. BASF was the nominal survivor, as all shares were exchanged for BASF shares prior to the merger. Rubber, fuels, and coatings were added to the product range. Following the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor in 1933, IG Farben cooperated with the Nazi regime, profiting from guaranteed volumes and prices, and from the slave labor provided by the government's concentration camps. IG Farben also achieved notoriety owing to its production of Zyklon-B, the lethal gas used in Nazi extermination camps. In 1935, IG Farben and AEG presented the magnetophone – the first tape recorder – at the Radio Exhibition in Berlin.
The Ludwigshafen site was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War and was subsequently rebuilt. The allies dissolved IG Farben in November 1945. On July 28 1948 an explosion in which 207 people died occurred in Ludwigshafen. In 1952, BASF was refounded under its own name. With the German economic miracle in the 1950s, BASF added synthetics such as nylon to its product range. BASF developed polystyrene in the 1930s and invented Styropor in 1951.
In the 1960s, production abroad was expanded and plants were built in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, United Kingdom, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the United States. Following a change in corporate strategy in 1965, greater emphasis was placed on higher-value products such as coatings, pharmaceuticals, crop protection agents and fertilizers. Following the reunification of Germany, BASF acquired a site in Schwarzheide, eastern Germany, on October 25 1990.
On May 30 2006, BASF bought the Engelhard Corporation for 4.8 billion USD. This takeover is the largest takeover in the company's history. BASF is now the world's largest manufacturer of catalytic converters.
Other acquisitions in 2006 were the purchase of Johnson Polymer and the construction chemicals business of Degussa.
The acquisition of Johnson Polymer was completed on July 1, 2006. The purchase price was $470 million on a cash and debt-free basis. It provides BASF with a range of water-based resins that complements its portfolio of high solids and UV resins for the coatings and paints industry and will strengthen the company’s market presence, in particular in North America.
Also on July 1, 2006 the acquisition of the construction chemicals business of Degussa AG was completed. The purchase price for equity was just under €2.2 billion. In addition, the transaction was associated with debt of €0.5 billion.
There has been criticism from anti-biotechnology protest groups at BASF' plans for wanting to hold trials of GMO potatoes in the UK. -
On 15 September 2008, BASF announced to acquire CIBA AG for CHF6.1 bn, subject to government and shareholders approval. -
BASF Receives Federal Registration for Termidor[R] H[middle dot]E High-Efficiency Termiticide Copack with Termidor HE Technology.
Mar 15, 2012; BASF Pest Control Solutions announced it has received federal registration for its new termiticide, Termidor[R] H*E...