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BASF to cut 6,000 jobs to drive down costs amid slowdown

A chemical tanker barge sails past a silo at the BASF headquarters chemical plant on River Rhine in Ludwigshafen, Germany, on May 10, 2019. CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Alex Kraus.
A chemical tanker barge sails past a silo at the BASF headquarters chemical plant on River Rhine in Ludwigshafen, Germany, on May 10, 2019. CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Alex Kraus.

BASF SE is cutting 6,000 jobs worldwide in a bid to cut costs as demand slows for chemicals used in industries ranging from cars to electronics.

The workforce reductions will impact operations globally and are expected to generate savings of 300 million euros ($341 million), the Ludwigshafen, Germany-based company said in a statement on Thursday.

Chief Executive Officer Martin Brudermueller is targeting a 2 billion-euro earnings boost as he simplifies BASF and makes it more in tune with rapidly changing markets. Results from companies including HB Fuller Co. and LyondellBasell NV are showing weakness in markets like coatings and plastics. Brudermueller’s vision is to work more closely with customers to sell more higher-margin products rather than simply delivering barrels of basic chemicals.

“We will set up the new organization with a clear focus on leveraging synergies, reducing interfaces and enabling flexibility and creativity,” the CEO said in the statement. Talks on a labor deal at the Ludwigshafen site will get underway earlier than planned.

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