BASF SE is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The company was established in 1865 and was originally known as Badische Anilin-und Soda-Fabrik (Translated in English as: Baden Aniline and Soda Factory). As of today, the name, BASF is a registered trademark and the company is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, and Zurich Stock Exchange with over 400,000 shareholders. The institutional shareholding comprises 15% from United States and Canada, 11% from Germany, 12% from United Kingdom and Ireland and 17% from the rest of Europe. Almost 26% is held by private investors, most of whom reside in Germany and of whom nearly 6% reside in the greater Ludwigshafen area. (BASF, 2012)
The BASF Group has subsidiaries in the fields of Chemicals, Plastics, Performance Products, Functional Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil and Gas in more than 80 countries and operates six integrated production sites and 370 other production sites in Europe, Asia, Australia, Americas and Africa. BASF has customers in over 200 countries, supplies products to a wide variety of industries employing nearly 111,000 people, and in 2011 posted sales of €73.5 billion and income before special items of approximately €8.4 billion (BASF, 2012).
BASF has 6 major operations sites known as “Verbund” in Ludwigshafen (Germany), Antwerp (Belgium), Freeport, Texas (USA), Geismar, Louisiana (USA), Kuantan (Malaysia), Nanjing (China) that operate as integrated chemical complexes producing various chemicals interlinked in terms of production processes (BASF, 2012).
The company has a strong Asia growth focus promoting its products in the critical markets of China and India where it has huge production facilities. As part of its growth strategy, BASF divested its entire stake in the consumer product segment so as to focus solely on chemical manufacturing, which the company considers its core...