We are a global science and technology company headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany. With a history of nearly 350 years, we are the oldest chemical and pharmaceutical company in the world. In line with our strategic direction, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany comprises three business sectors: Healthcare, Life Science, and Performance Materials.

In Healthcare, we discover, develop and manufacture prescription medicines used to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, and infertility. Our products help millions of people around the world. In Life Science, we conduct research for researchers, providing scientists with laboratory materials, technologies and services. Our aim is to make research and biomanufacturing easier, faster and more successful. Performance Materials develops specialty chemicals and materials for demanding applications – from and materials for displays to effect pigments for coatings and cosmetics up to high-tech materials for the manufacture of integrated circuits.

Who we are

We hold the global rights to the "Merck" name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States. In these countries, we operate as EMD Serono in the biopharmaceutical business, as MilliporeSigma in the life science business and as EMD Performance Materials in the high-tech materials business.

Apart from our three business sectors, our financial reporting presents the five regions Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Latin America as well as Middle East and Africa (MEA). As of December 31, 2017, we had 52,941 employees worldwide, which compares with 50,414 on December 31, 2016.

In 2017, our 217 subsidiaries with employees in 66 countries generated sales of € 15.3 billion. Our 98 production sites are located across 24 countries.

Employees and sales by region – 2017


Group structure

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is a vibrant science and technology company.

Our Healthcare business sector comprises the three businesses Biopharma, Consumer Health, and Allergopharma. Our Biopharma business discovers, develops, manufactures and markets innovative pharmaceutical and biological prescription drugs in four franchises: Oncology, Neurology & Immunology, Fertility, and General Medicine & Endocrinology. Biopharma is the largest of our Healthcare businesses. Our streamlined R&D pipeline positions us with a clear focus on becoming a leading specialty innovator in oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology, including multiple sclerosis. Our Consumer Health business focuses on consumer-centric innovation under the umbrellas of several strategic brands such as Neurobion®, Bion3®, Nasivin®, Femibion®, Sangobion®, Vigantoletten® and Kytta®.

In the Life Science business sector, our purpose is to solve the toughest problems in life science by collaborating with the global scientific community – and through that, we aim to accelerate access to health for people everywhere. We serve customers in academia, biotech and pharma – helping them to deliver the promise of their work better, faster and safer. As a leading player in the life science industry, we offer innovative solutions for scientists and engineers at every stage. Our 300,000 products range from lab water systems to genome-editing tools, antibodies and cell lines, as well as end-to-end bioprocessing systems to support the manufacturing needs of both emerging biotech and large pharma companies. After successfully orchestrating the largest integration in the history of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, the Life Science business sector redesigned its organizational structure in the second quarter of 2017. Strategic Marketing & Innovation units and commercial teams have been streamlined into three distinct business units – Research Solutions, Process Solutions and Applied Solutions.

Our specialty chemicals business is combined in our Performance Materials business sector. The portfolio includes high-tech chemicals for applications in fields such as consumer electronics, lighting, coatings, printing technology, paints, plastics, and cosmetics. Performance Materials comprises four business units: Display Materials, Integrated Circuit Materials, Pigments & Functional Materials, and Advanced Technologies.

Net sales by business sector – 2017


Based in Darmstadt, Germany, our company operates in the legal form of a corporation with general partners (Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien – KGaA). The general partner E. Merck KG., Darmstadt, Germany holds around 70% of the total capital of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (equity interest); the shareholders hold the remainder, which is divided into shares (share capital). Our shares have been included in the DAX® 30, the blue chip index of the Deutsche Börse, since 2007. In September 2008, our company was added to the FTSE4Good Index, a sustainability index that assesses the social, ecological and ethical conduct of companies.

Group strategy

Over the past decade, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has transformed itself from a classic supplier of chemicals and pharmaceuticals into a global science and technology company. The main driver was the transformation of our business portfolio, particularly through the divestment of our Generics business (2007) and the acquisitions of Serono (2007), Millipore (2010), AZ Electronic Materials (2014), and Sigma-Aldrich (2015). In addition, we focused our businesses on innovation-driven and highly specialized products, extensively revamped our internal structures and processes, and expanded our presence in global growth markets. In line with this strategy, we completed the divestment of our business in 2017. In addition, we are preparing strategic options for our Consumer Health business, including a potential full or partial sale of the business as well as strategic partnerships.

Read more on our Group strategy in our Annual Report 2017.

Liquid Crystals (LC)
Liquid crystals are a hybrid of a crystalline and liquid state. In general, molecules are perfectly arranged only when in a solid crystal state, in contrast to the liquid state, when they move around chaotically. However, liquid crystals are a hybrid of the two states: Although they are liquid, they exhibit a certain crystalline arrangement. Their rod-shaped molecules align themselves like a shoal of fish. In addition, they respond to the electromagnetic waves of light like tiny antennae. Therefore, such swarms of molecules can either allow specially prepared “polarized” light to pass through, or they can block it. This takes place in the pixels of liquid crystal displays – as it does similarly in liquid crystal windows, which can provide shade against sunlight.
Organic light-emitting diodes are a new technology for displays and lighting.
Officially approved subsequent versions of innovator biopharmaceutical products made by a different company after the original product's patent or exclusivity expires. Based on guidance from the EMA (European Medicines Agency), biosimilars must demonstrate comparability, or biosimilarity, to an existing approved product.

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