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 2018 stood at some 39.6 billion euros. This amount was generated by four segments: Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health, Animal Health, and Crop Science. The material science segment under the name Covestro was spun-off during 2015. Thus, the health-related segments now make up almost 60 percent of Bayer’s total revenue. Bayer’s best-selling pharmaceutical products are anticoagulant Xarelto and fusion protein Eylea, generating 3.6 billion and 2.2 billion U.S. dollars, respectively.
Since 2016, Bayer has had increased media attention due to the announced acquisition of U.S. agrochemical company Monsanto. This was especially because 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 was pending for a long time. However, Bayer received a ‘green light’ from all relevant authorities until May 2018, and the deal was closed in June 2018 - under certain restrictions. 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 was widely criticized.
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