FRANKFURT (AP) -- German chemical company BASF SE said Wednesday it is considering selling off its leathers and textiles chemicals business, which has seen low market growth and high competitive pressure.
Ludwigshafen-based BASF said it had implemented a series of restructuring and efficiency programs over the years, but that those measures had not been sufficient to ensure the long-term profitability of the business.
The company said in a statement it was introducing a further cost-reduction program that should generate savings of euro25 million ($32.3 million) by 2011. It added it was also considering the formation of a joint venture or a complete sale of the business.
"Our employees have worked hard to improve the business in recent years," Hans Reiners, the director of BASF's performance chemicals division, said in a statement. "In view of the difficult market situation, the results are not sufficient to ensure long-term success with our own means."
BASF operates production plants for leather and textile chemicals in Germany, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, India and China.
The business, which employs approximately 1,300 people, posted global sales of about euro400 million in 2007. Leather and textile products include chemicals for brightening, coating, finishing and dyeing.
The news sent BASF shares 5 percent higher to euro23.74 in Frankfurt afternoon trading.