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Updated: Jun 5, 2020

Brief Company Profile

In 1865, Badische Anilin- & Sodafabrik was founded in Mannheim, Germany by Friedrich Engelhorn. The BASF group completed its 150 years in the business in 2015. Its journey over the period is described as -

  • 1865 - 1901: The age of dyes

  • 1902 - 1924: The Haber-Bosch process and the age of fertilizers

  • 1925 - 1944: New high pressure syntheses

  • 1945 - 1964: Moving towards the plastic age

  • 1965 - 1989: Evolving into a transnational company

  • 1990 - 2015: Sustainable beginning of the new millennium

Haber-Bosch is a pioneering chemical process where high pressures are used to enable chemical reactions.

BASF sites across the world

BASF has 360+ sites in more than 90 countries across the world employing approximately 122,000 people. At Verbund sites, production, technology, market and digitalization activities are integrated.

Business Segments

BASF has 11 different divisions grouped into six segments.


The segment comprises of two divisions - petrochemicals and intermediaries.

  • Petrochemicals - It produces high quality basic chemicals and specialty chemicals. End user industries are chemicals and plastics. BASF supplies the chemicals to both internal and external customers.

  • Intermediaries - These are used in production of variety of coatings, plastics, textile, fibers, pharmaceuticals and crop production products.


This segment includes advanced materials and their precursors.

  • Performance Materials - End user industries for advanced materials such as Polyurethanes, thermoplastics and foam specialties are transportation, construction, consumer goods and industrial applications.

  • Monomers - Plastic, automotive and construction sectors use the basic and specialty monomers.

Industrial Solutions

The products from this segment are used in variety of industrial applications.

  • Dispersions & Pigments - End usage of the raw materials is in coatings, construction, paper, printing and packaging, adhesives and electronics industries.

  • Performance Chemicals - These are used in transportation, energy and resources, chemicals, plastics and consumer goods industries.

Surface Technologies

  • Catalysts - End usage in automotive and process catalysts, battery materials, precious metal trading, recycling.

  • Coatings - End usage in coatings solutions, surface treatments, decorative paints.

Nutrition & Care

  • Care Chemicals - It provides Ingredients for the cosmetics, detergent and cleaner industries, agro-chemical and technical applications.

  • Nutrition & Health - This division caters to the flavor and fragrance industry, food & feed, pharmaceuticals and ethanol industries.

Agricultural Solutions

The agricultural solutions segments provides fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, seeds, seed and crop treatment products.

Contribution to sales by segments, in 2019

Total sales in 2019 was € 59,316 million. Surface Technologies was the largest segment (22%) followed by Materials (20%).

Distribution of sales by region, by segment, in 2019

Europe is the largest customer market for BASF with almost 40% of the total sales.

Transportation including automotive industry, energy & resources, construction, consumer goods, electronics, health & nutrition and agriculture are the key customer segments of BASF.

R&D expenditure by segments, in 2019

In 1968, BASF hired its first head of research and as of 2019, it has a team of over 11,000 experts working in its research and development department.

BASF spent € 2,158 million in 2019 on R&D activities.

Financial Performance

Source: BASF, Average exchange rate EUR to USD in 2019: 1.1199

In terms of USD, BASF's revenues in 2019 clocked $ 63 billion.

Recent Acquisitions by BASF

  • January 2020 - acquisition of polyamide business from Belgium based Solvay for € 1.3 billion.

  • December 2019 - BASF Venture Capital invested in Equinom, an Agtech startup in Israel. Equinom specializes in computerized breeding technology to provide optimize seeds for food industry.

  • November 2019 - acquisition of France based Sculpteo, a 3D printing service provider. The transaction is pending for regulatory approval and is likely to get completed in a few weeks.

  • September 2019 - acquisition of Isobionics, a leading player in natural flavors and fragrances market. Along with this acquisition, BASF has also entered into agreement with Conagen, a leader in biotechnology research.

  • January 2019 - BASF transferred its wet-end and water technology business to Solenis, US. BASF will hold 49% of the business.

BASF has been collaborating with several industry leaders in the fields of agricultural products, plastics, catalysts, battery recycling, power storage technology to name a few.


The top competitors of BASF are LG Chem, SABIC and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings.

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