February 26, 2016 / 12:11 PM / a year ago

BASF boss says don't look to us for 'big and fancy' deals

Kurt Bock, CEO of German chemical company BASF, speaks during an event marking the company's 150th anniversary in Ludwigshafen, April 23, 2015.Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The chief executive of the world's largest chemicals group BASF (BASFn.DE) dismissed any suggestion he needs to pursue larger deals to transform its diversified chemicals and oil business.

"There are always these expectations there should be something big, important and impressive (in terms of deals)," Kurt Bock said at a press conference on Thursday after the release of full-year earnings.

When asked whether the recent decline in share prices has affected his view of large takeover opportunities he said: "We take a very sober view."

In contrast to his predecessor Juergen Hambrecht, now the supervisory board chairman, Bock has eschewed major takeover deals at the group's core chemicals and plastics businesses during his almost 5-year tenure, which has seen cutbacks and divestments.

"We are looking at individual targets. Do they really create value for our shareholders at the end of the day? Not everything that is fancy and big necessarily creates value," Bock added.

The industry has seen major consolidation moves in the Chemical industry recently with merger plans unveiled by Dow Chemical (DOW.N) and DuPont (DD.N) followed by an agreed takeover bid for pesticides maker Syngenta SYNN.VX by ChemChina.

Bock added that he would continue his policy of looking into hiving off units that have come under too much pressure from rivals.

"This pruning of our portfolio ... will continue in 2016 and 2017," he said.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Arno Schuetze

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