On January 4, 2022, the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE resolved on a share buyback program with a volume of up to €3 billion, which started on January 11, 2022, and is to be completed by December 2023. The share buyback program is based on the authorization by the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on May 12, 2017. Around 13.5 million shares had already been repurchased as of March 31, 2022. A renewed authorization to buy back own shares will be proposed to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on April 29, 2022, which would authorize the continuation of the share buyback program already underway.
Together with Heraeus, Hanau, Germany, BASF announced on February 11, 2022, the formation of a joint venture (BASF: 50%; Heraeus: 50%) to recover precious metals from spent automotive catalysts. Subject to the approval of the relevant authorities, the formation of BASF HERAEUS (China) Metal Resource Co., Ltd., based in Pinghu, China, is targeted for the first half of 2022. Construction of the joint venture’s recycling plant is scheduled to begin in 2022, with start of operations in 2023.
The following changes in responsibilities to two Board of Executive Directors departments (“Ressorts”) took effect as of March 1, 2022:
- Saori Dubourg (Ressort IV) assumed responsibility for the Petrochemicals, Intermediates, Performance Materials and Monomers divisions. She remains responsible for the region Europe.
- Michael Heinz (Ressort V), based in Florham Park, New Jersey, assumed responsibility for the Care Chemicals, Nutrition & Health and Agricultural Solutions divisions. He remains responsible for the regions North America and South America.
Due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, BASF announced on March 3, 2022, that effective immediately, it would only conduct business in Russia and Belarus to fulfill existing commitments in line with the applicable laws, regulations and international rules. Exempt from this decision is business to support food production, as the war risks triggering a global food crisis. BASF is continuously evaluating these decisions and other matters related to this evolving situation and announced further steps on April 27 (see events after the reporting period).
In connection with the sanctions imposed on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project and its operating company, the Management Board of Wintershall Dea AG, Kassel/Hamburg, Germany, decided on March 2, 2022, to write off its financing of Nord Stream 2 in the total amount of around €1 billion (BASF’s share: €729 million). In addition, Wintershall Dea recognized impairments of around €550 million (BASF’s share: €373 million after taxes) in connection with the war in Ukraine. The current situation is so dominated by uncertainty that BASF did not believe it possible to reliably value the Russian assets, even using scenarios. Consequently, BASF has not recognized any impairments on Wintershall Dea’s assets beyond those recognized by Wintershall Dea. Wintershall Dea’s Russian activities account for around €2.6 billion of the carrying amount of our shareholding. As of March 31, 2022, there were also no sufficient indicators of impairment for BASF’s other activities in Russia and Ukraine, which have net assets in the low three-digit million euro range.