Bayer has its headquarters in Leverkusen, North Rhino-Westphalia, Germany. Bayer was one of the important German chemical companies of the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Its signature product was aspirin made of from coal tar. Bayer’s first important commercial products were coal-tar dyes for use in the textile industry. Because of the chemical linkages between these compounds and pharmaceutical products, Bayer moved into biochemical research and innovation.
Bayer has originated scores of pharmaceutical, chemicals, and synthetic materials; it was the first developer and marketer of aspirin (1899); of Prontosil, the first Sulfa Drug (1935) and of polyurethane (1937).
Bayer Chemical Company was the first company to isolate the natural compound salicylic acid. After this achievement, the company was able to synthesize this compound and market it. This is analgesic compound that reduces inflammation, lowers fevers and assists in blood circulation during critical times, such as a heart attack and stroke.
By the start of World War I, Bayer, under the technical leadership of chemist Felix Hoffmann, discovered and brought to market such landmark pharmacological products as aspirin, sulfa drugs and anesthetics.
In 1967, Bayer began acquiring companies to bolster its North American presence, in 1994 purchased Sterling Winthrop’s North American OTC drug business for $1 billion, including all trademark right in Canada and the United States related to the Bayer name and Bayer cross logo.
Today, Bayer is a global company that in fiscal 2014 employed 116,800 people, had sales of EUR 46.3 billion (US$4.6 billion), and marketed about 5,000 products.