Schäfer: “CURRENTA expresses our goal of becoming Europe’s leading chemical park manager”
Bayer Chemical Park to be renamed “CHEMPARK"
Bayer Industry Services will be renamed CURRENTA. “Our new name CURRENTA expresses our goal of becoming Europe’s leading chemical park manager and operator" explained Dr. Klaus Schäfer, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bayer Industry Services at a news conference in Leverkusen on Tuesday, December 4, 2007. “In concrete terms this means that we aim to offer our existing customers optimal value for money and provide an attractive environment for investors looking for a location in northwest Europe,” continued Schäfer. CURRENTA is a joint venture between Bayer and LANXESS, which will continue to hold 60 percent and 40 percent of the renamed company respectively. With a workforce of some 5,000 people, the company expects to post sales of EUR 1.7 billion in 2007.
The Bayer Chemical Park with sites at Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen is to be renamed CHEMPARK. “This name offers our more than 60 chemical park partners a platform on which to present their own brands,” said Schäfer. “A prime industrial location covering 13.3 square kilometers, our chemical park is already among the largest in Europe. We now aim to make it one of the most attractive on the continent and become the cost leader in this field.” CHEMPARK employs some 50,000 people at the three sites and produces around one-third of North Rhine-Westphalia’s chemical industry output. “By providing cost-effective services, CURRENTA is helping to safeguard the future of the sites. Also essential to this, however, are the appropriate external factors. Here we need support from the politicians, enabling us to secure jobs in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen,” stated Schäfer. A case in point is the present debate surrounding the construction of a new coal-fired power plant in Krefeld-Uerdingen.
CURRENTA symbolizes dynamism and motion. It is derived from the Latin ‘currere’, which means to ‘run’ or ‘hasten’, but is also the root of the words ‘course’ and ‘current’. “This verbal image describes the power and strength of CURRENTA, a new company which is facing the future with energy and enthusiasm,” explained Schäfer. The company’s new identity also underscores its transformation from a corporate site administration division to a modern service provider with a stronger customer focus. Schäfer went on: “CURRENTA represents strength and self-confidence. Our slogan ‘Services to chemicals and manufacturing’ describes our remit. Our corporate color – a strong but warm and friendly orange – is a clear signal designed to set us apart from our competitors.”
’CHEMPARK – Europe’s chemical park’ is a signal that the company, with three sites at Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen, aims to become one of the most attractive addresses on the continent. “Above all, the new name is universally comprehensible and emphasizes the strength of our location as a base for the chemical industry,” explained Schäfer. ”CHEMPARK also stands for safety, reliability and good neighborhood relations. These are guiding principles for all the companies based there.” The new brand’s base color is a clear yet restrained shade of blue.
Both the CURRENTA and CHEMPARK brands use the same logo to highlight the relationship between the chemical park manager and the chemical park. The logo is derived from the cartographic symbol designating a viewpoint. “This symbol both marks our position and describes the perspectives we offer. It represents the fact that we keep all processes in view at all times and provide our customers with good prospects for developing their business,” explained Schäfer.
”Our new identity is the fourth element on our route to becoming a modern service provider. We have successfully concluded other key tasks in this transformation in recent months. We have reduced costs, realigned our organization and simplified business and decision-making processes,” said Schäfer. All this was done with one goal in mind. “Today, we are faster, leaner and more efficient,” stated the Executive Board Chairman.
The company has concluded its own collective agreement on pay and conditions to overcome non-competitive cost structures, especially in personnel-intensive organizational units. The main elements of this agreement consist of changes to worktime models and pay. It entered into force on July 1, 2007, and forms the basis for the company’s future economic success.
At the same time, numerous efficiency-enhancing programs aimed at simplifying structures, improving processes and optimizing systems are taking effect. The third element was the company’s new structure, which became effective on July 1, 2007. The business units were realigned, with a reduction in number from nine to five: Utilities, Environment, Safety and Security, Services and Chemical Park Management.
In a further agreement with the employee representatives, it was decided to make the Technical Services business unit, which employs some 1,300 people, an autonomous company effective January 1, 2008. The new company is to be named Tectrion and will be a wholly owned subsidiary of CURRENTA.
Schäfer summed up: ”The goal of our strategy project was to achieve savings of EUR 125 million by 2009. We have already secured EUR 100 million, 80 percent of our target, which is a very gratifying achievement.”
”However, maintaining cost leadership is an ongoing task,” said Schäfer. ”This means that we have to work every day to ensure we provide optimal value for money.” Also, organizational structures will have to be adapted flexibly to market needs. Schäfer continued: “We must constantly review our processes and, at the same time, optimize use of our facilities by implementing innovative energy-saving and environmentally friendly technologies.”
The Chairman of the Executive Board thanked the company’s workforce for its contribution to what has been achieved so far. ”Our employees have displayed great dedication in shaping our new company. We have also been able to fully exploit the positive economic environment of recent months. That is why I am certain that we will together achieve our goal.”
The new company name, together with the logo, has already been decided by the shareholders of Bayer Industry Services GmbH & Co. OHG and is effective January 1, 2008.
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by the management of Bayer Industry Services GmbH & Co. OHG (BIS). Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of BIS, or the actual realization of plans and projects described in this news release, and the explicit or implicit estimates given and/or the assumptions made herein. These factors include those discussed in any public reports about BIS filed by the Bayer Group with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange or with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including Form 20-F). In view of these uncertainties, we caution users not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We assume no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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