Bayer History

Milestones in Bayer’s history

1863: Friedrich Bayer and Johann Friedrich Weskott establish a dyestuffs factory in Barmen. 18 years later, it is changed into the joint-stock company Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co.


1884: Chemist Carl Duisberg begins his career at Bayer. Under his management, Bayer scientists will make pioneering discoveries.


1888: The pharmaceutical department is established.


1899: Aspirin is registered as a trade mark and becomes the world’s favourite pain killer.


1912: The company’s headquarters is transferred to Leverkusen.


1939: Bayer researcher Gerhard Domagk is awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his discovery of the antibacterial effect of the sulfonamides (Prontosil).


1972: The company changes its name to Bayer AG.


1988: Bayer becomes the first German industrial company to be listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.


1996: On June 3, Bayer's capital stock is redenominated into shares of DM 5 par value instead of DM 50.


1999: Bayer marks the 100th birthday of Aspirin® by having professional mountaineers wrap Bayer’s former high-rise headquarters building in Leverkusen, transforming it into the world’s biggest Aspirin® pack and earning the company three entries in the Guinness Book of Records.


2000: The acquisition of the polyols business Lyondell Chemical Company makes Bayer the world’s biggest producer of raw materials for polyurethanes.


2001: Bayer acquires Aventis CropScience making it a world leader in crop protection. In December, Bayer’s management announces plans to establish independent operating subsidiaries under the umbrella of a management holding company.


2002: The Bayer shares are listed for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange. In October Bayer CropScience AG is launched as the first legally independent Bayer subgroup.


2003: WHO includes acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient in Aspirin®, in its “List of essential medicines”.


2003: In October, the subgroups Bayer Chemicals AG and Bayer HealthCare AG and the service company Bayer Technology Services GmbH gain legal independence as part of the reorganisation of the Bayer group. The subgroup Bayer MaterialScience AG and the service companies Bayer Business Services GmbH and Bayer Industry Services GmbH & Co. OHG follow in December.


2004: Bayer becomes the first private-sector partner to UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) in the area of youth and environment. Bayer provides material support and additional funding of EUR1 million annually to promote various projects over an initial period of three years.


2004: In January the Group's world-famous trademark, the Bayer Cross, celebrates its centennial.  


2005: Bayer is one of the world’s top three suppliers of non-prescription medicines after the acquisition of the Roche OTC business.


2005: Lanxess AG is spun off from the Bayer Group. Lanxess continues Bayer’s chemical business in Bayer Chemicals and parts of the polymer business.


2005: In December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves Sorafenib (Nexavar®), an active ingredient jointly developed by Bayer HealthCare and Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma.


2006: Bayer launches the Group-wide innovation initiative “Triple-i: inspiration, ideas and innovation”, which calls on all employees worldwide to participate in the search for new product, development and business ideas.


2007: Bayer completes the acquisition of Schering AG and becomes one of the leading players on the market for specialised pharmaceuticals.


2007: Bayer sells the Diagnostics Division of Bayer HealthCare to Siemens AG, Munich for EUR4.2 billion.


2007: It is announced that the BayArena stadium, home of German Bundesliga soccer team Bayer 04 Leverkusen, is to be modernised and enlarged to accommodate a crowd of over 30,000.


2007: November sees the launch of the integrated, Group-wide Bayer Climate Program. The program's goals include a futher reduction in CO2 emissions from Bayer's production facilities.


2008:  In June Bayer is presented with the 2008 Environmental Award in the category "Environmentally Friendly Technologies" by the Federation of German Industries (bdi). Use of the new oxygen-depolarised cathode technology reduces power consumption and co2 emissions.


2008:  In October the world's largest MDI production facility goon stream in Shanghai.


2009:  In November, Bayer implements its zero emissions building concept for the first time with the opening of a children's daycare centre in Monheim, Germany.


2009:  In December, a Bayer team wins the German Future Prize for the development of the anticoagulant rivaroxaban (Xarelto).


2010: In June the Aspirin Social Award is presented for the first time. The award honors exemplary social projects in the health care sector.


2010: Fifty years of successful family planning with the pill: this innovative contraceptive was first given regulatory approval in 1960. Till this day Bayer is a global market leader in the field of hormonal contraception.


2012: In March, Bayer receives approval from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for Eylea™, an eye medicine for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration.


2013: Bayer celebrates 150 years since the company was founded.


2015: Bayer MaterialScience has been operating since 1 September under the name Covestro. The company is economically and legally independent, but initially remains a subsidiary of Bayer AG. On October 6, the Covestro AG made her debut on the stock market.


2016: In May Werner Baumann becomes the new CEO of Bayer AG. Baumann has been a member of the Board of Management since January 2010 and was most recently responsible for Strategy and Portfolio Management.


2016: In September Bayer and Monsanto sign a binding merger agreement.


2017: In November Bayer kicks off „leaps“. This new approach complements the existing R&D capabilities and aims to enable breakthrough innovations across healthcare and agriculture.


2018: Bayer successfully completed the acquisition of Monsanto on June 7, 2018 following the receipt of all required approvals from regulatory authorities.


2019: In August, Bayer announces the sale of its Animal Health business for 7.6 billion U.S. dollars to the U.S.-based company Elanco Animal Health.


2019: In December, Bayer announces that it will significantly step-up its sustainability efforts and sets ambitious targets to be achieved by 2030. Among other things, Bayer aims to become a carbon neutral company.


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