Tuesday, 26 April 2011
CASE 267 - Bayer
Bayer AG (German pronunciation: [ˈbaɪɐ]) is a chemical and pharmaceutical company founded in Barmen, Germany in 1863. Today it is headquartered in Leverkusen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is well-known for its original brand of aspirin.
Bayer AG was founded in Barmen (today a part of Wuppertal), Germany in 1863 by Friedrich Bayer and his partner, Johann Friedrich Weskott. Bayer's first major product was acetylsalicylic acid (originally discovered by French chemist Charles Frederic Gerhardt in 1853), a modification of salicylic acid or salicin, a folk remedy found in the bark of the willow plant. By 1899, Bayer's trademark Aspirin was registered worldwide for Bayer's brand of acetylsalicylic acid, but because of the confiscation of Bayer's US assets and trademarks during World War I by the United States - and the subsequent widespread usage of the word to describe all brands of the compound, "Aspirin" lost its trademark status in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. It is now widely used in the US, UK, and France for all brands of the drug. However in over 80 other countries, such as Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Switzerland, it is still a registered trademark of Bayer.
In 1904, the Bayer company introduced the Bayer cross as its corporate logo. Because Bayer's aspirin was sold through pharmacists and doctors only, and the company could not put its own packaging on the drug, the Bayer cross was imprinted on the actual tablets, so that customers would associate Bayer with its aspirin. As part of the reparations after World War I, Bayer had its assets, including the rights to its name and trademarks confiscated in the United States, Canada, and several other countries. In the United States and Canada, Bayer's assets and trademarks were acquired by Sterling Drug, a predecessor of Sterling Winthrop.The Bayer company then became part of IG Farben, a conglomerate of German chemical industries that formed a part of the financial core of the German Nazi regime. IG Farben owned 42.5% of the company that manufactured Zyklon B, a chemical used in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and other extermination camps. During World War II, the company also extensively used slave labor in factories attached to large slave labor camps, notably the sub-camps of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. When the Allies split IG Farben into several pieces after World War II for involvement in organized Nazi war crimes, Bayer reappeared as an individual business. The Bayer executive Fritz ter Meer, sentenced to seven years in prison by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, was made head of the supervisory board of Bayer in 1956, after his release. In 1978, Bayer purchased Miles Laboratories and its subsidiaries Miles Canada and Cutter Laboratories (along with a product line including Alka-Seltzer, Flintstones Vitamins and One-A-Day Vitamins, and Cutter insect repellent). In 1994, Bayer AG purchased Sterling Winthrop's over the counter drug business from SmithKline Beecham and merged it with Miles Laboratories, thereby reacquiring the U.S. and Canadian trademark rights to "Bayer" and the Bayer cross, as well as the ownership of the Aspirin trademark in Canada. On November 2, 2010, Bayer AG signed an agreement to buy Auckland-based animal health company Bomac Group. Due to confidentiality obligations, no financial information was disclosed.
Bayer Heroin bottle
Bayer has discovered, among others:
Aspirin — an analgesic, anti-fever, and anti-coagulant medicine, arguably the most commercially successful drug ever
Heroin (diacetylmorphine) — an addictive drug, originally sold as a cough treatment. Heroin was a Bayer trademark, until World War I
Prontosil as the first sulfonamide
Ciprofloxacin — an antibiotic used to treat anthrax and urinary tract infections.
Levitra — a treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
Polyurethane — a very versatile polymer for a wide variety of applications
Polycarbonate — the material of the CD, etc. (Makrolon)
Parathion — insecticide
Propoxur — insecticide
Primodos hormone pregnancy testing
The company's corporate logo, the Bayer cross, was introduced in 1904. It consists of the horizontal word "BAYER" crossed with the vertical word "BAYER", both words sharing the "Y", and enclosed in a circle. An illuminated version of the logo lights up the skyline of Leverkusen, where Bayer is headquartered. Installed in 1958, this is the largest illuminated advertisement in the world.
Werner Wenning (Chairman of the Board of Management until October 2010)
In order to separate operational and strategic managements, Bayer AG was reorganized into a holding company in December 2003. The group's core businesses were transformed into limited companies, each controlled by Bayer AG. These companies are: Bayer CropScience AG; Bayer HealthCare AG; Bayer MaterialScience AG and Bayer Chemicals AG, and the three service limited companies Bayer Technology Services GmbH, Bayer Business Services GmbH and Bayer Industry Services GmbH & Co. OHG. Following the reorganization, its chemicals activities (with the exception of H.C. Starck and Wolff Walsrode) were combined with certain components of the polymers segment to form the new company Lanxess on July 1, 2004. Lanxess was listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in early 2005. Bayer HealthCare's Diagnostics Division was acquired by Siemens Medical Solutions in January 2007. Bayer AG shares are listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and previously on the New York Stock Exchange. Bayer is governed by a board of management, consisting of: Klaus Kühn, Wolfgang Plischke, Richard Pott, and Marijn Dekkers. In 2004 Bayer HealthCare AG acquired the over-the-counter (OTC) Pharmaceutical Division of Roche Pharmaceuticals. On March 13, 2006, Merck KGaA announced a €14.6bn bid for Schering AG. Merck's takeover bid was surpassed by Bayer's $19.5bn bid on March 23, 2006. On March 11, 2008, Bayer HealthCare announced an agreement to acquire the portfolio and OTC division of privately owned Sagmel, Inc., a US-based company that markets over-the-counter medications in most of the Commonwealth of Independent States countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and others