BASF Aktiengesellschaft History

Carl-Bosch-Strasse 38
67056 Ludwigshafen

Telephone: (49) 621-60-4-32-63
Fax: (49) 621-60-42525

Public Company
Incorporated: 1952 as Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik AG
Employees: 92,545 (2001)
Sales: DM 32,500 billion (US $29 billion) (2001)
Stock Exchanges: Frankfurt London New York Paris Zurich
Ticker Symbol: BA (Paris), BAS (Frankfurt), BAS (Zurich), BF (New York), BFA (London)
NAIC: 325000 Chemical Manufacturing, 325411 Medici- nal and Botanical Manufacturing, 325320 Pesticide and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing, 325131 Inorganic Dye and Pigment Manufacturing, 325110 Paint and Coating Manufacturing, 325110 Petrochemical Manufacturing, 325188 All Other Basic Inorganic Chemical Manufacturing, 325311 Nitrogenous Fertilizer Manufacturing, 325190 Other Basic Organic Chemical Manufacturing, 325200 Resin, Synthetic Rubber and Artificial and Synthetic and Filaments Manufacturing, 334613 Magnetic and Optical Recording Media Manufacturing, 211111 Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction, 324191 Petroleum Lubricating Oil and Grease Manufacturing

Company Perspectives:

BASF is the world's leading chemical company. We aim to increase and sustain our corporate value through growth and innovation. We offer our customers a range of high-performance products, including chemicals, plastics, coating systems, dispersions, agricultural products, fine chemicals as well as crude oil and natural gas. Our distinctive approach to integration, known in German as Verbund, is our strength. It enables us to achieve cost leadership and gives us a decisive competitive advantage in the long term. We act in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.

Key Dates:

Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik AG (BASF) is founded by Friedrich Engelhorn in Ludwigshafen, Germany, for the production of coal tar dyestuffs.
Indigo dye is first synthesized by BASF.
Development of the Haber-Bosch process revolutionizes the production of nitrogen fertilizers.
BASF's first ammonia synthesis plant starts operation at Oppau.
I.G. Farbenindustrie AG (I.G. Farben) is founded in Frankfurt with the merger of BASF and other chemical and pharmaceutical companies, including Bayer AG (Bayer) & Farbwerke Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft vormals Meister Lucius & Bruning (Hoechst).
I.G. Farben joins the war effort in Germany.
Allied Control Council orders the dissolution of I.G. Farben. BASF's Ludwigshafen plant continues to operate independently.
Under the name Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik AG, BASF develops Styropor, a white rigid foam used as an insulating and packaging material.
Company is incorporated under the name of Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik AG.
BASF establishes a join venture with The Dow Chemical Company, United States.
BASF begins acquiring other companies to produce surface coatings, drugs, crop protection agents, and fertilizers.
BASF acquires Wyandotte Chemicals Corporation, United States, and Wintershall AG, the German oil company.
Company changes its name to BASF Aktiengesellschaft.
BASF acquires Boots Pharmaceutical (United Kingdom), and a majority interest in Knoll AG. (The remaining interests in Knoll AG are purchased in 1982.)
BASF takes over a united Germany's Synthesewerk Schwarzheide.
BASF Ecology Laboratory begins work.
BASF & Gazprom (Russia's leading natural gas producer) establish WINGAS to market and distribute gas in Central and Eastern Europe.
BASF opens its first plant in Nanjing, China.
With PetroFina, BASF constructs the world's largest steamcracker plant at Port Arthur, Texas; the company founds BASF Plant Science, a worldwide research platform, with sites in Germany, Sweden, Canada, and the United States.
BASF is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the listing BF and the company's worldwide pharmaceutical business is sold to Abbott Laboratories, Inc.
The company begins transacting business via Elemica, a neutral electronic marketplace and sets up a global extranet platform, WorldAccount.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Alperowicz, Natasha, "BASF to Idle Production in Europe," Chemical Week, November 21, 2001, pp. 15-16.
  • Alperowicz, Natasha, Lyn Tattum, and Emma Chynoweth, "Managing the Business Cycle at BASF: Gas Deal Provides Hope for Improving Results," Chemical Week, December 16, 1992, pp. 22-26.
  • Alperowicz, Natasha, Michael Roberts, and Debbie Jackson, "Domestic Pressures Turn the Screw on German Chemical Firms," Chemical Week, March 31, 1993, pp. 34-35.
  • Baker, John, "BASF Invests in Chinese Future," ECN-European Chemical News, October 7, 1996, p. 25.
  • "BASF AG," Mergent Industrial Manual, New York: Moody's Investor Service, 2001, pp. 912-916.
  • "BASF: Change, Focus, Speed," supplement to ECN-European Chemical News, November 1995.
  • "BASF Claims Top Spot among Investors in Korea," Chemical Marketing Reporter, September 23, 1996, p. 5.
  • BASF Milestones in Its History, Ludwigshafen, Germany: BASF Aktiengesellschaft, 1995.
  • "BASF Targets Acquisitions That Cut Cycles: The Company Also Wants to Structure European Business Like That of U.S.," Chemical Marketing Reporter, November 18, 1996, pp. 7, 41.
  • Chandler, Jr., Alfred D., "The Enduring Logic of Industrial Success," Harvard Business Review, March/April 1990, p. 130.
  • Gibson, Paul, "How the Germans Dominate the World Chemical Industry," Forbes, October 13, 1980, p. 155.
  • Hayes, Peter, Industry and Ideology: I.G. Farben in the Nazi Era, London: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
  • Layman, Patricia L., "For BASF, Big Is Still Better," Chemical and Engineering News, September 16, 1996, pp. 13-15, 18.
  • Milmo, Sean, "BASF, Lynx Form Biotech Collaboration," Chemical Marketing Reporter, October 28, 1996, p. 7.
  • "The Money Pit: Investing in Eastern Europe," Economist, June 22, 1991, pp. 74-75.
  • Reier, Sharon, "Hundred Years War: How BASF Allied Itself with the Russians to Battle Germany's Gas Monopoly," Financial World, September 14, 1993, pp. 28-30.
  • Richman, Louis S., "Hans Albers: BASF," Fortune, August 3, 1987, p. 50.
  • Schroter, Harm G., "The German Question, the Unification of Europe, and the European Market Strategies of Germany's Chemical and Electrical Industries, 1990-1992," Business History Review, Autumn 1993, p. 369.
  • Sheridan, Mike, "BASF Atofina Cracker Is Finally Up and Running," Chemical Marketing Reporter, February 18, 2002, p. 4.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 50. St. James Press, 2003.