The Bayer Aktiengesellschaft – or Bayer AG – was established in 1863 in Barmen, Germany. It is a diversified chemical-pharmaceutical company with its headquarters in Leverkusen. Bayer is known worldwide for its most famous contribution to the world of medicine – aspirin. According to the World Health Organization, aspirin is one of the essential drugs, inevitable for any basic health system. Today, “Aspirin” is still Bayer’s registered trademark in more than 80 countries. Around 40 thousand metric tons of aspirin are produced annually worldwide.
The company’s total revenues in 2016 stood at nearly 47 billion euros. This amount was generated by five segments: Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health, Animal Health, Crop Science, and Covestro. The health-related segments made up more than half of Bayer’s total revenue in 2016. Bayer’s best-selling pharmaceutical products are anticoagulant Xarelto and fusion protein Eylea, generating 2.9 billion and 1.6 billion U.S. dollars, respectively. Covestro was formerly known as Material Science which was established as a separate company in 2015, with Bayer still owning about 70 percent.
Since 2016, Bayer has had increased media attention due to the announced acquisition of U.S. agrochemical company Monsanto. The merger of these two companies would create the leading seeds and agrochemical company, with a monopolistic position worldwide. Because of the antitrust proceedings, the merger is still pending. However, it looks like Bayer will receive a ‘green light’ from all relevant authorities by early-2018. Monsanto has struggled with a negative reputation, largely based on the production of controversial herbicides and genetically manipulated seeds. In line with this, the whole mega-merger of Bayer and Monsanto is widely criticized.
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