BASF makes changes to care chemicals unit

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  • has reported sales of 1684 M(1572 M for its fiscal 2007), EBIT of113 M (126 M), capital expenditureof 59 M (57 M), and R&Dexpenditure of 50 M (51 M). Thisdivision supplies raw materials andspeciality chemicals for home careand personal care products. TheFunctional Products division ofCognis GmbH reported 2008 sales of948 M (908 M), EBIT of 50 M(51 M), capital expenditure of 25 M(25 M), and R&D expenditure of 23M (20 M). This division suppliesnatural chemicals, surfactants andsurface technologies.

    Cognis Annual Report 2008, 25 Mar 2009,21,25,34,36,62 (Cognis GmbH, Postfach 130164, D-40551, Dsseldorf, Germany, website:

    Elementis Surfactants in 2008

    For its fiscal 2008 (period ends 31Dec 2008), the Elementis Surfactantsdivision of Elementis plc has reportedsales of 51.1 M (46.3 M for its fiscal2007) and operating profit of 0.5 M(0.9 M). Elementis Surfactants is aspeciality surfactant manufacturerserving markets such as oilfieldchemicals, pulp and paper, andhousehold products. Its strategy is tofocus on higher-margin markets suchas agrochemicals, feed, plastics andresins and reduce activity in high-volume commodity applications. Atthe same time, the business seeks tocontinually reduce operating costs bymore efficient utilization of itsmanufacturing facility in theNetherlands.

    Elementis Preliminary Results for Year Ended 31 Dec2008, 24 Feb 2009, 5-6 (Elementis plc, Ash House,Fairfield Avenue, Staines, TW18 4ES, UK, tel: +441784 224212, fax: +44 1784 224312, website:


    Rhodia idles workers in Charleston,sheds jobs in France

    Rhodia has temporarily displaced 28of 125 employees at its plant inCharleston, SC, USA. The companyanticipates recalling all the idledemployees to work in mid-Mar 2009,

    depending on the businessenvironment. Only one of six trains isoperational at the Charleston facility,which produces chelating agents,flame retardants, pharmaceuticalintermediates and surfactants, amongothers. Rhodia also mothballed atend-Dec 2008 its Cincinnati, OH,USA plant, which manufacturesalumina washcoats for catalyticconverters.

    Elsewhere, Rhodia has announcedplans to shed 91 jobs in France aspart of a programme aimed atachieving savings of 150 M by 2011.This move should improve thecompetitiveness of its Polyamide andNovecare businesses. The Belle-Etoile, Valence and Melle sites will beaffected by the restructuring, with theoverall loss of 132 jobs and thecreation of 41 new ones. In 4Q 2008Novecare saw its volumes decline by9.2% despite a good level of businessin its cosmetics and detergentsoperations and growing sales ofagrochemicals and oil extractionproducts (see p 6). Novecaresimproved competitivenessprogramme should result in savingsof 30 M by 2011.

    Chemical and Engineering News, 23 Feb 2009, 87 (8),23 (Website: & ChimiePharma Hebdo, 30 Mar 2009, (460), 8 (in French)

    Brenntag Specialties to distributefragrances for Givaudan

    Brenntag Specialties, a leadingchemical distributor in the UK andIreland, has been appointed todistribute a range of fragrances forGivaudan. Rona Lairdwright,Business Manager for Personal Care,said: This new line represents anexciting new product range for uswhich fills a gap in our extensiveproduct portfolio by offering highquality, specialist fragrances to ourcustomer base. Givaudan is a majorplayer within the Flavours andFragrance industry with more than8770 employees worldwide. Itsfragrances are used in a wide rangeof personal and homecare productsincluding shampoos, soaps, laundrydetergents and fabric softeners.

    Press release from: Brenntag Specialties, Stinnes-Platz 1, D-45472 Mlheim/Ruhr, Germany, tel: +49208 7828 0, e-mail:,website: (3 Mar 2009)

    BASF makes changes to carechemicals unit

    BASF is implementing some changesto its Performance Products segment,in line with plans to optimize itsstructure to refine its focus and laythe base for the integration of Cibasbusinesses. All operations thatcontribute to personal care, hygieneand cleaning, as well as animalnutrition and pharmaceuticals, will beconsolidated under the CareChemicals division, beginning 1 Apr2009. In addition, the transfer of thesuperabsorbents business to CareChemicals will bolster the unitsportfolio with added consumer-relatedproducts for personal care.Necessary regulatory approvals andcompletion of the Ciba acquisition areanticipated by the end of 1Q 2009.Following closing of the deal, the so-called Discovery Phase will startimmediately.

    In 2008, BASFs PerformanceProducts segment posted sales of8.967 bn (+1.2%), of which CareChemicals accounted for 34%.Income from operations beforespecial items rose by 10.3% to 785M due to the strong performance ofthe Care Chemicals division. Thedivisions sales to third partiesincreased by 36 M to 3.065 bn in2008. Sales rose by 311 M whenadjusted for structural effects relatedto the sale of several businesses,including WIBARCO (a subsidiaryinvolved in the surfactants business).Europe accounted for 54% of totalsales of care chemicals, N America24%, Pacific Asia 16% and SAmerica/the Middle East/Africa 8%.BASF significantly increased incomefrom operations in a stable marketenvironment, in particular because ofthe strong performance of thenutrition unit. Integrating the personalcare ingredients and detergents andformulators units, the division gavenew impetus to marketing activitiesand innovation. By launching newproducts, BASF managed to satisfygrowing demand for environmentallyfriendly and sustainable solutions. Inaddition, margins were stable despitehigher raw material prices.

    HAPPI, Household & Personal Products Industry, Mar2009, 46 (3), 113 & BASF Annual Report 2008, 12Mar 2009, 65,67-68 (BASF SE, D-67056Ludwigshafen, Germany, tel: +49 621 600, website:

    MAY 2009 7

    F O C U S O N S U R F A C T A N T S


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