Chemical News

Friday, November 23, 2007

BASF - Is it Sinking???

A takeover of Germany's BASF AG (BASF.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) is not impossible, the chief executive of the world's largest chemicals company by sales said.

"BASF is not that big that it can't be taken over," Juergen Hambrecht told reporters in Stuttgart late on Wednesday.

In the past, there had been market talk of a possible bid from U.S. rivals like Dow Chemical or DuPont for the 142-year-old German company.

Asked about a possible takeover of BASF in September, Hambrecht said he could not see a team elsewhere that could produce better results than the current one. He also said he expected further consolidation in the chemicals industry because the top 10 global companies controlled only about 20 percent of the world market.

Dow's market value is around $38 billion, and DuPont's about $40 billion while BASF is currently ~$45 billion. Saudi Basic Industries Corp.(SABIC), which is worth around $112 billion, is the world's largest chemicals company by market value.

BASF has sold weak performing assets and trimmed highly cyclical businesses. It spent about 7 billion euros last year to buy U.S. catalyst maker Engelhard, the construction chemicals business of Degussa and U.S. resin maker Johnson Polymer.