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BASF Chairman: Company Doesn’t Need an M&A to Compete

BASF also isn’t worried about its footing in the agriculture industry even with the proposed Bayer-Monsanto deal.

As a wave of mergers and acquisitions have begun to transform the chemicals sector, the industry’s biggest company has stayed away from the bustle.

It isn’t that Germany-based BASF would shy from the right match-up if it came along. But according to Kurt Bock, chairman of the board of executive directors at BASF SE, the company feels plenty confident without embarking on a major merger.

BASF also isn’t worried about its footing in the agriculture industry even with the proposed Bayer-Monsanto deal.

“Do we need to have a seed business to have a good crop protection business? No.” Bock told the Wall Street Journal.

Bock said the company wants to make sure it doesn’t rush into a deal for the wrong reasons such as cheap financing or to “overcome operational weakness.”

That said, BASF has been involved in several smaller deals such as its $3.2 billion purchase of Chemetall, which manufactures coatings and surface treatments, earlier this year.

BASF is also focusing on trimming its fat by reducing overcapacity, restructuring and making strategic divestments.  

“I strongly believe, if you have a sound business model, and we think we have a sound business model … you can demonstrate that you grow and that you can improve margins over time,” Bock said.

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