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On August 1, 1863 businessman Friedrich Bayer and master dyer Johann Friedrich Weskott established a dyestuffs factory in Barmen, now a part of Wuppertal. 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 descendants of Bayer and Weskott established the joint stock company Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co. on July 1, 1881. The Flers plant in northern France started production in 1883. In 1884 the chemist Carl Duisberg began his career at Bayer. Under his management, Bayer scientists made pioneering discoveries. The Pharmaceutical Department was established in 1888. In 1891 the Leverkusen site was purchased. Bayer researcher Dr. Felix Hoffmann first synthesized acetylsalicylic acid in a chemically pure and stable form in 1897. Aspirin® was registered as a trademark in 1899 and became the world's favorite pain killer. In 1912 the company's headquarters were transferred to Leverkusen. Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co. merged with other companies to form I.G. Farbenindustrie AG in 1925. Leverkusen became the main production center of the I.G.'s Lower Rhine operating consortium. Following the Second World War, the Allies seized and later broke up I.G. Farben. Bayer was re-established as Farbenfabriken Bayer AG in 1951 and changed its name to Bayer AG in 1972. The push for expansion as an international health care and chemicals group began.

In 2013 the Bayer Group is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

Comprehensive information about the company history

150 Years of Bayer

Bayer is a life Science company with a more than 150-year history and core competencies in the areas of health care and agriculture. With our innovative products, we are helping find solutions to some of the major challenges of our time. With life expectancy continuing to rise, we improve quality of life for a growing population by focusing our research and development activities on preventing, alleviating and treating diseases. We are also making an important contribution to providing a reliable supply of high-quality food, feed and plant-based raw materials.

Profile and Organization

Brand & Values

As of December 31, 2017 the number of employees in the Bayer Group was 99,820.


Europe / Middle East / Africa52,380
- there of Germany31,620
North America13,001
Asia / Pacific22,852
Latin America11,587


For fiscal 2017 the Bayer Group reported net sales of € 35,015 million and EBITDA before special items of € 9,288 million.

Additional key figures

The consolidated financial statements of the Bayer Group as of December 31, 2017, were prepared by Bayer Aktiengesellschaft (Bayer AG) according to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), London, United Kingdom, in effect at the end of the reporting period, and the interpretations of the IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRS IC) as endorsed by the European Union. The applicable further requirements of Section 315e of the German Commercial Code were also taken into account.

The fiscal year is the calendar year.

Bayer welcomes the Corporate Governance Code. We have a long-standing commitment to these principles in the interest of value creation.

Declaration of Conformity 2017
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Additional information related to Corporate Governance

All publications can be ordered or subscribed from our website Publications. After selecting the documents you need, you will be prompted to enter all information required for ordering.

The Bayer stock was listed for the first time on October 2, 1953 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Additional information regarding our stock listings

How to invest in Bayer shares?
The capital stock of Bayer AG is traded as no-par registered shares on electronic trading platforms like Xetra® as well as at several stock exchanges. You can buy Bayer ordinary shares through any supplier of brokerage services, usually banks. To do so, you need a custody account in which your shares are administered. It is not possible to acquire the shares directly through Bayer.

How to buy Bayer ADRs?
In the United States, Bayer stock has been traded under a OTC Level l ADR Program since September 27, 2007. The ticker symbol is BAYRY. Trading information is obtainable from the Pinksheets OTC website.
Bayer ADRs are issued by The Bank of New York Mellon, acting as depositary.

Information for new investors

Under the German Securities Trading Act (Wertpapierhandelsgesetz), holders of voting securities of a listed German company must notify that company of the level of their holding whenever it reaches, exceeds or falls below specified thresholds. These thresholds are 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50 and 75 percent of the company’s outstanding voting securities.

Voting rights announcements

To motivate and enhance their performance, Bayer allows its employees to benefit directly from the company's success. We offer three different programs for defined participant groups. Eligibility for the different programs varies with an employee’s position in the company, since people at higher levels of management are considered to have a greater direct influence on the company’s economic performance and thus on the performance of Bayer stock. Bayer therefore offers the stock program Aspire for members of the Board of Management, for other Group Executives (members of the “Group Leadership Circles”), and for other senior managers, and a Stock Participation Program for all other groups of employees.

More information about stock programs

Information about the dividend for fiscal 2017

At its meeting on February 27, 2018, the Supervisory Board of Bayer AG approved approved the Board of Management's recommendation that a dividend payment for fiscal 2017 of 2.80 (2016: 2.70) euros per share entitled to the dividend be proposed to the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting on May 25, 2018.

With 826.95 million shares entitled to the dividend, the total dividend payment would amount to 2.315 (2016: 2.233) billion euros, an increase of 3.7 percent. Should the capital stock be increased prior to the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting 2018 in connection with the acquisition of Monsanto, the new shares would carry dividend rights for 2017. The total dividend payment would increase accordingly.

Further information regarding dividends

The next Annual Stockholders’ Meeting will be held on Friday, May 25, 2018.

Information about the Stockholder's Meeting 2018