Fresh Ink

BASF Selects Wyandotte, MI, for Relocation of Johnson Polymer Business


BASF Corporation announced plans to relocate the emulsion and resin production activities of recently acquired Johnson Polymer to Wyandotte, MI, from its current location in Sturtevant, WI. The company will also move the business, pilot plant and R&D functions to Wyandotte from Sturtevant.
To accommodate the new production facility, BASF plans a construction project in excess of $100 million at the Wyandotte site, subject to approval by BASF’s Board of Executive Directors.
The new manufacturing facility is expected to be completed in the first half of 2009. JohnsonDiversey – from which BASF acquired Johnson Polymer – will continue to manufacture emulsion and resin products under the trade name Joncryl in Wisconsin through a toll manufacturing agreement with BASF until the production transfer to Wyandotte is complete.
“This is a strategic decision that will benefit our customers and leverage the strengths of BASF and Johnson Polymer to ensure the long-term success of this business,” said Joseph C. Breunig, executive vice president of BASF Corporation and president of the Chemicals, Plastics and Performance Products regional division in North America. “Because of the agreements that we have with JohnsonDiversey, there will be no interruption to current production or BASF’s ability to serve customers.”
BASF has until June 2007 to relocate the sales, marketing, customer support and other employees currently located in leased offices at the JohnsonDiversey headquarters building in Sturtevant.
“Our objective is to retain as many of our Wisconsin-based staff as possible, and we are working with our employees and their families throughout the relocation process to provide as much information and help as possible,” said Gerry Podesta, group vice president of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division in North America. “Most of the current Wisconsin-based employees will be relocated to Wyandotte. A small number of employees will be moved to other BASF locations where it makes sense to do so.”
During the site selection process, BASF considered an attractive package of tax incentives and credits, some of which are subject to state approval. In addition to these incentives, BASF considered the proximity of the facility both to employees who will be relocated from Wisconsin and to the business’s North American customer base, which is located primarily in the Midwest region.  The relocation plan is necessary as JohnsonDiversey elected not to sell the Sturtevant facilities to BASF.
BASF acquired Johnson Polymer from JohnsonDiversey on July 1, 2006. The former Johnson Polymer business is a leader in marketing and sales of water-based resins, primarily to the printing and coatings industries. It represents a strategic fit with BASF’s Performance Chemicals business. Other production facilities are located in Seaford, DE, and the Netherlands. These sites are not impacted by the relocation plans.