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Wintershall Dea/ Ludwig Schöpfer
  • Negotiations on reconciliation of interests and comprehensive social plan for employees in Kassel and Hamburg concluded
  • Around 800 employees in Germany are affected by the closure of the sites
  • Dismissals for operational reasons to be avoided through socially responsible redundancies

Kassel/Hamburg. Wintershall Dea and the employee representatives have concluded negotiations on the reconciliation of interests and social plan for the restructuring and ultimately the closure of the headquarters in Hamburg and Kassel. Around 800 employees will be affected by the closure of the sites. A comprehensive social plan is intended to implement the redundancies in a socially responsible manner and avoid compulsory layoffs. 

In December 2023, the shareholders of Wintershall Dea (BASF and LetterOne) and Harbour Energy plc (Harbour) signed a business combination agreement to merge the two businesses. Under the agreement, Wintershall Dea’s E&P business and carbon storage (CCS) licences will be transferred to Harbour. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2024, subject to all regulatory approvals.

Wintershall Dea’s head offices and their employees are not part of the transaction. This will ultimately require the closure of the headquarters units in Kassel and Hamburg, which currently employ around 800 people. Harbour intends to take over some employees from the current headquarters.

“I am pleased that we were able to reach an agreement before the summer. This will give our colleagues greater clarity. We have agreed on a fair social plan and reconciliation of interests, with which we are fulfilling our social responsibility in the usual way. I would like to thank the employee representatives for the negotiations, which were controversial but constructive,” explains Mario Mehren, CEO of Wintershall Dea.

“Against the backdrop of the shareholders’ plans to completely close the main administrative locations in Hamburg and Kassel, we negotiated hard but fairly and managed to achieve a good result for all our colleagues. The negotiating committee of the General Works Council with works council members from both locations achieved this result through great teamwork,” says Birgit Böl, Chairwoman of the General Works Council.

The social plan negotiated with the employee representatives includes severance arrangements for job losses. The aim is to find amicable solutions wherever possible and avoid layoffs for operational reasons. In addition, the company provides support with external services such as career counselling and outplacement.

Following completion of the transaction with Harbour, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2024, Wintershall Dea’s main tasks will include managing the claims related to the expropriation of the Russian assets, the sale of the remaining assets, the further restructuring of the organisation and selected transition services for Harbour for up to 12 months and ultimately the closure of the headquarter units in Kassel and Hamburg.

About Wintershall Dea

Wintershall Dea is a leading independent European gas and oil company with more than 120 years of experience as an operator and project partner along the entire E&P value chain. The company with German roots and headquarters in Kassel and Hamburg explores for and produces gas and oil in 11 countries worldwide in an efficient and responsible manner. With activities in Europe, Latin America and the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa), Wintershall Dea has a global upstream portfolio and, with its participation in natural gas transport, is also active in the midstream business. And we develop carbon management and low carbon hydrogen projects to contribute to climate goals and secure energy supplies. More in our Annual Report.

As a European gas and oil company, we support the EU’s 2050 carbon neutrality target. As our contribution we have set ourselves ambitious targets: We want to be net zero across our entire upstream operations – both operated and non-operated – by 2030. This includes Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect) greenhouse gas emissions on an equity share basis. Wintershall Dea will also bring its methane emissions intensity below 0.1 per cent by 2025. We endorsed the World Bank’s Initiative ‘Zero Routine Flaring by 2030’ and continue to support the initiative aimed at eliminating routine flaring in operated assets by 2030. In addition, we plan to support global decarbonisation efforts by building up a carbon management and hydrogen business to potentially abate 20-30 million tonnes of CO2 per annum by 2040. You can find more about this in our Sustainability Report.

Wintershall Dea was formed from the merger of Wintershall Holding GmbH and DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG, in 2019. Today, the company employs more than 2,000 people worldwide from almost 60 nations.

The shareholders of Wintershall Dea (BASF and LetterOne) and Harbour Energy plc (Harbour) signed a business combination agreement in December 2023 to transfer Wintershall Dea’s E&P business consisting of its producing and development assets as well as exploration rights in Norway, Argentina, Germany, Mexico, Algeria, Libya (excluding Wintershall AG), Egypt and Denmark (excluding Ravn) as well as Wintershall Dea’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) licenses to Harbour. Until closing, Wintershall Dea and Harbour will continue to operate as independent companies. The transaction is, among other things, subject to approvals of merger control and foreign investment authorities in several countries. Subject to these regulatory approvals, closing is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2024. See the full BASF release here.

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