Calgary Herald reports:
Chemical giant BASF Corporation is relocating its new Canadian agricultural headquarters to Calgary, a move the company says could result in up to 90 jobs for this city.
The company, which is the North American affiliate of Germany-based BASF SE, will transfer its Agricultural Solutions headquarters operations from its existing Mississauga, Ontario, office as of Oct. 1, 2019. While BASF is still in the process of securing a specific location for the Calgary headquarters, spokeswoman Nicole McAuley said 60 people will work out of the office initially and it is expected that number will eventually grow to 90.
“This includes team members from Mississauga, existing members of our team who are already based in Calgary, as well as some anticipated new hires,” McAuley said in an email.
The move comes on the heels of BASF’s acquisition of a range of nearly $9 billion worth of businesses and assets from another global heavy-hitter, Bayer, which was required by U.S. regulators to divest a number of its agricultural businesses as part of its purchase of Monsanto in 2017.
McAuley said the decision to move west was based on a desire to get closer to BASF’s agricultural customers and staff, the majority of which are based in Western Canada. She said the new Calgary headquarters will be the home for BASF’s fully integrated seed and crop protection business, though some functions – including the corn, soy, horticulture and specialty products portfolio – will continue to operate from the Mississauga office.
BASF considered both Winnipeg and Saskatoon as possible alternate locations for the new office before settling on Calgary. The company joins a number of other major global chemical and agricultural companies, including Syngenta Canada Inc. and Corteva Agriscience (a division of the recently merged Dow/Dupont) which have head office locations here. Calgary was also selected over Winnipeg as the location of Bayer’s Canadian headquarters following that company’s merger with Monsanto.
“It is really starting to create a cluster here and send a message to the market,” said Calgary Economic Development president and CEO Mary Moran, adding that agribusiness is a huge opportunity for this city that historically has not received enough attention.
Moran added CED, along with other partners, is hoping to position Alberta (from the Lethbridge area to Calgary and up to Edmonton) as Canada’s leading “smart agri-foods corridor.”