Bayer Company History Timeline

(590 Jobs)

On August 1, 1863, they found the "Friedr.

On August 1, 1863, dye salesman Friedrich Bayer and master dyer Johann Friedrich Weskott found the general partnership “Friedr.

On August 1, 1863, businessman Friedrich Bayer and master dyer Johann Friedrich Weskott established a dyestuffs factory in Barmen, now a part of Wuppertal.

Bayer is a major pharmaceutical and chemicals company that was founded in 1863 by Friedrich Bayer and Johann Wescott in Barmen, Germany.

Bayer AG is a chemical and pharmaceutical giant founded in Barmen, Germany in 1863 by Friedrich Bayer and his partner, Johann Friedrich Weskott.

Friedrich Bayer and Johann Friedrich Weskott founded Bayer in 1863.

Bayer AG was formed by Friedrich Bayer in Wuppertal, Germany in 1863 to produce synthetic magenta dye.


Soon afterwards, in 1865, the two men purchased an interest in a coal tar dye factory in the United States and began exporting intermediates.


In 1876 a dyestuffs factory was opened in Moscow.


The financial foundation for expansion is laid in 1881 when Bayer is transformed into a joint stock company.more


The Flers plant in northern France started production in 1883.


In 1884 the chemist Carl Duisberg began his career at Bayer.


The Pharmaceutical Department was established in 1888.


In 1891 the Leverkusen site was purchased.


The first significant discovery by Bayer scientists was made in 1892 when they discovered the first synthetic pesticide, naming it Antinonin.


Bayer researcher Doctor Felix Hoffmann first synthesized acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient in Aspirin®, in a chemically pure and stable form in 1897.


The company developed Aspirin in 1899.


In 1908 the basic compound for sulfa drugs was created synthetically in Bayer laboratories.


In order to regain access to the vital export markets, these and other companies of the German tar dyes industry join together in a larger community of interests in 1915/16 on the initiative of Carl Duisberg.more


Bayer opens its third German production site in Dormagen in 1917.more


Bayer & Co. merged with other companies to form I.G. Farbenindustrie AG in 1925.

In 1925 Bayer president Carl Duisberg and Carl Bosch of BASF AG orchestrated a mega-merger of all Germany's major chemical companies into a single, giant enterprise.


Although Bosch stepped down as head of I.G. Faben in 1935 in protest of the company's growing involvement with the Nazis, the company continued its support of the conservative movement, still under the guise of avoiding a workers' revolt.


In 1941, Otto Armbrust, the IG Farben board member responsible for IG Farben's Auschwitz project, told his colleagues, "our new friendship with the SS is a blessing.


During the Second World War, IG Farben used slave labour in many of its factories and mines and by 1944 more than 83,000 forced labourers and death camp inmates had been put to work in the IG Farben camp at Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Elie Wiesel, the writer, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, came to Auschwitz in 1944 and was sent with his father to IG Farben's Buna work camp.


In November 1945, the Allied Forces confiscate the I.G. and place all its sites under the control of Allied officers.


Bayer begins to reestablish its sales activities abroad in 1946, while still under Allied control.more

In 1946 the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal concluded that without IG Farben the Second World War would simply not have been possible.


Although the physical structures remained for I.G. Faben, in 1947 the entire board of directors was sentenced to up to four years in prison for war crimes and Allied forces took over control of the company.


Bayer re-emerged in 1951 as Farbenfabriken Bayer AG.


In 1954 Bayer joined Monsanto to form United States-based Mobay.

In 1954, Bayer AG and Monsanto reached an agreement for establishment of a joint venture that was to be called Mobay.


A polyurethanes manufacturing site in New Martinsville, West Virginia began operation in 1955.


When Herbert Grünewald succeeds Kurt Hansen as Chairman of the Board of Management in 1974, the global economy is in a severe recession.


In 1977 the company purchased Cutter Laboratories and Metzeler, a German rubber company, and was forced by a United States antitrust ruling to buy out Monsanto's share of Mobay.


In 1978 Bayer acquired Miles Laboratories, makers of such brands as Alka-Seltzer and Flintstones children's vitamins.


In 1986 Bayer reacquired from United States pharmaceutical manufacturer Sterling Drug, Inc. the rights to use the Bayer trademark in the United States for products sold to manufacturing industry.

In 1986 Bayer paid $25 million to Sterling Drugs, who had made Bayer aspirin a household name, to regain partial use of the Bayer name in the United States.


Up to 650 people underwent surgery using Ciproxin without doctors being informed that studies (as early as 1989) showed Ciproxin reacted badly with other drugs, seriously impairing its ability to kill bacteria.

In 1989 Bayer acquired Cooper Technicon, Tarrytown, New York, to become one of the world’s largest suppliers of diagnostics systems and reagents for clinical chemistry.


In the 1990’s the federal government launched an investigation in to Bayer’s billing practices.


In 1991 Bayer’s Communication Center (BayKomm) opened in Leverkusen.


In 1992 Bayer merged its United States companies Mobay Corporation, Miles Inc. and Agfa Corporation with the management holding company Bayer USA Inc. to form a new operating company under the name Miles Inc.


Kogenate, a treatment for hemophilia, engineered in 1993, became the company's first genetically engineered product.


The first production facility of Bayer Bitterfeld GmbH came on stream in 1994.

The rights to the name had been lost during World War I. When Eastman Kodak sold Sterling Drugs to British firm SmithKline Beecham PLC in 1994, within a few weeks SmithKline Beecham sold Sterling's North American interests to Bayer for $1 billion.

In 1994, Bayer reacquired full rights to all former Bayer products after they purchased the Winthrop division of over-the-counter drugs from GlaxoSmithKline, and the Miles name was discontinued.


In 1995 the head of Bayer, Helge Wehmeier, formally apologized to Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel for the company’s participation in Nazi Germany.

The antibiotic Cipro produced $1.3 billion in sales by 1995.


The Starlink fiasco started when in October 2000 traces of an Aventis GM maize (corn) called StarLink showed up in the food supply in the United States even though it only had approval for animal feeds or industrial use.

Several significant acquisitions also factored into Bayer's year-end statement, including the purchase in 2000 of Sybron Chemicals Inc. for 206 million euro and the polyols business of Lyondell Chemical Company for 202 million euro.

uniworld business publications, inc. directory of foreign firms operating in the united states., new york: author, 2000.


It is thought to have been partly in response to the impact of the Baycol scandal that Bayer bought the rival crop sciences unit of French company Aventis, which had absorbed part of Hoechst, in October 2001.

To compensate shareholders for the lackluster year in 2001, Bayer announced that it would distribute to investors the net income of parent company Bayer AG, totaling 657 million euro and equaling a dividend of 0.90 euro per share.

In light of an announcement in late 2001 that Bayer would restructure into a holding company format, with each of its four divisions becoming legally separate entities, analysts remain mildly optimistic regarding the future value of Bayer stock.

However, Bayer is not quick to dismiss its polymer business, which generated 11 billion euro in sales in 2001, although stiff competition and a saturated market arena are expected to contain any significant growth in this segment.

During 2001 Bayer sales totaled 13 billion euro in Europe, 9.8 billion euro in North America, 3.8 billion euro in Asia and the Pacific, and 2.3 billion euro in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

When numerous people in the United States began contracting anthrax through the mail during the fall of 2001, soon after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., Cipro, a synthetically produced antibiotic developed and marketed by Bayer, became the drug of choice for anthrax patients.

In 2001, the company launched the Bayer Academy to coordinate and support employee-learning opportunities.


On January 24, 2002, Bayer AG's stocks began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

hunter, david. "bayer lists its shares on the nyse; targets growth in drug intermediates." chemical week, 30 january 2002.

In 2002 Bayer announced that it was actively seeking partners for its healthcare and chemicals units.


The new structure, scheduled to be in place by January 2003, will allow Bayer to seek out strategic partnerships, which the company is actively pursuing for its HealthCare and Chemical divisions.

Bayer, which holds exclusive rights to the drug until the patent expires in 2003, received short-term negative exposure in the press when it refused to release the patent early and for selling the drug to the United States government at a price that would still earn the company a profit on the deal.


In 2005, Bayer paid $1.1 billion to settle about 3,000 Baycol death and injury claims.


Even before the Monsanto merger, Bayer CropScience was involved in a large number of controversies related to GM crops, perhaps most notably the contamination in 2006 of much of the US long-grain rice supply by Bayer's unapproved Liberty Link GM rice.


Due to over a thousand complaints surrounding the Mirena IUD the FDA released a press release on May of 2008 forcing Bayer to highlight the serious dangers of ectopic pregnancy.

In May 2008 German authorities blamed clothianidin for the deaths of millions of honeybees, and the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) suspended the registration for eight pesticide seed treatment products, including clothianidin and imidacloprid, on maize and rape.


Bayer settled about 150 Trasylol lawsuits for $60 million in 2010.


Reuters Staff. (2013, April 16). Actavis to sell generic Yaz birth control after ruling.

In 2013, Bayer celebrates the 150th anniversary of its foundation worldwide.


On September 18, 2014, the Board of Directors of Bayer AG announced plans to float the Bayer MaterialScience business on the stock market as a separate entity.

Bayer strengthens its oncology business with the acquisition of Algeta in 2014.


CTV News. (2017, July 8). RestoraLAX recall expanded on possible ‘clumps and lumps’ choking hazard.

Bayer. (2017, July 7). RestoraLAXA recall expanded to include RestoraLAX 30+7 Bonus Packs.

Bayer made about $41 billion in 2017.

2017 Revenue $35 billion (EUR) or about $41 billion (USD)


University of California, Berkeley. (2018, January 1). Levonorgestrel IUDs: Mirena, Kyleena and SkylaRetrieved from

FDA. (2018, April 9). FDA restricts sale and distribution of Essure to protect women and to require that patients receive risk information.

More than 520 Mirena lawsuits were pending in New York in May 2018.

On June 7, 2018 Bayer successfully completes the acquisition of Monsanto.

The merger between Bayer and Monsanto in June of 2018 led many commentators to say the German firm had sullied its reputation by taking over a company consistently shown in polls to be among the most hated in America.


In December 2019 Bayer announces that it will significantly step-up its sustainability efforts and sets itself ambitious targets.

In 2019 Bayer announced the end of it operations at its Pittsburgh site.


In 2020 Bayer acquires Asklepios BioPharmaceutical (AskBio) and launches a new platform for cell and gene therapy. more


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