BASF SE is German chemical company which produces various types of plastic, rubber, building materials, fertilisers and food additives. It is both one of the biggest chemical producers and one of the most environmentally-friendly companies in the world.
The company was founded in Manheim in 1865 by Friedrich Engelhorn, but due to land acquisition complications it built its first factory in Ludwigshafen. Before he established BASF, Friedrich Engelhorn sold compressed coal gas in balloons. The gas production process would generate a large amount of coal tar, which could be used to make aniline. This went on to become the major activity of the newly-created BASF.
Today, the company is present in more than 90 different countries and employees around 122,000 people globally.
BASF is listed on the DAX — Germany's biggest stock exchange — and its shares are weighted at around 8%.
Its market capitalisation stands at 66 billion euros and, in 2017, it posted a net profit of 6.1 billion euros.