TAG overview

We are Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a vibrant science and technology company. Science is at the heart of everything we do. It drives the discoveries we make and the technologies we create. Our work makes a positive difference in millions of people’s lives every day. In line with our strategic direction, in Healthcare, we discover unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases such as multiple sclerosis and cancer. Our Life Science experts empower scientists by developing tools and solutions that help deliver breakthroughs more quickly. And in Performance Materials, we develop science that sits inside technologies and changes the way we access and display information.

Everything we do is fueled by a belief in science and technology as a force for good. A belief that has driven our work since 1668 and will continue to inspire us to find more joyful and sustainable ways to live. We are curious minds dedicated to human progress.

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, 2018, we had 51,749 employees worldwide, which compares with 52,941 on December 31, 2017.

In 2018, our 207 subsidiaries with employees in 66 countries generated sales of € 14.8 billion. Our 90 production sites are located across 21 countries.

Employees and sales by region – 2018

Employees and sales by region (graphic)

Group structure

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany comprises three business sectors: Healthcare, Life Science, and Performance Materials. Our Healthcare business sector – the biggest among our three business sectors – comprises the two businesses Biopharma and Allergopharma. On December 1, our Consumer Health business transferred to Procter & Gamble (P&G).

Our Biopharma business discovers, develops, manufactures and markets innovative pharmaceutical and biological prescription drugs to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), infertility, growth disorders as well as certain cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Biopharma is the larger of our Healthcare businesses and operates in four franchises: Oncology, Neurology & Immunology, Fertility and General Medicine & Endocrinology. Our R&D pipeline positions us with a clear focus on becoming a global specialty innovator in oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology including MS. Our allergy business Allergopharma is one of the leading companies in the field of allergy immunotherapy (AIT) in Europe. For high-precision, effective allergy therapy, we offer comprehensive diagnosis solutions as a basis for individual treatment concepts. Our AIT products concentrate on causal treatment of type 1 allergies such as allergic rhinitis (for example, hay fever) and allergic asthma to meet patients’ needs.

In Life Science, we are a leading, global supplier of tools, high-grade chemicals, and equipment for academic labs, biotech and biophar¬maceutical manufacturers, as well as the industrial sector. We make scientific discovery easier and faster with technologies like CRISPR for gene-editing; and we provide drug manufacturers with process development expertise that make medicines safer and more effective for patients. We offer both testing kits and services to ensure that our food is safe to eat and water is clean to drink. Our portfolio comprises more than 300,000 products ranging 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. For example, our Life Science business sector has built the expertise to further develop our BioReliance® End-to-End Solutions, a service offering for process development and manufacturing for emerging biotechs. Another example is BrightLab™, our digital ecosystem for complete lab management.

Our Performance Materials business sector comprises the specialty chemicals of our company and supplies solutions for displays, computer chips and surfaces of all kinds. Since April 1, 2018, Performance Materials comprises three business units: Display Solutions, Semiconductor Solutions and Surface Solutions. If we compare Performance Materials with a smartphone, Display Solutions represents the user interface, Semiconductor Solutions the intelligence and Surface Solutions the aesthetics. Our Display Solutions business unit comprises the liquid crystals, OLED (organic light-emitting diodes), photoresists and liquid crystal windows businesses. Semiconductor Solutions, the second-largest business unit in Performance Materials, supplies products for integrated circuits, microelectronic systems, for antireflection coatings, and for the miniaturization of transistor structures. Deposition materials and conductive pastes for semiconductor packaging round off the portfolio. In the Surface Solutions business unit our goal is to help custom¬ers with our materials and solutions to make innovative surfaces of all kinds more beautiful, more resistant or even more intelligent.

Net sales by business sector – 2018

Net sales by business sector (pie chart)


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

Throughout the past years, our company has grown significantly through a series of strategic moves that have enabled us to develop into the vibrant science and technology company we are today. We have systematically and continuously strengthened and focused our portfolio of innovative science and technology throughout our business sectors. In Healthcare we divested our Generics business (2007) to focus on highly specialized products and acquired Serono (2007) to expand our pipeline and strengthen our business. This focused approach has continued until today with the divestments of the Biosimilars business (2017) and Consumer Health business (2018), so that we can increase our efforts on our Oncology, Immuno-oncology and Immunology franchises. Within Life Science, we have significantly transformed to become a diversified industry leader through the acquisition of Millipore (2010) and Sigma-Aldrich (2015). During the last years, Performance Materials has continued to deliver profitable growth and a significant cash contribution, and we evolved this business further into attractive science and technology areas such as semiconductor materials through the acquisition of AZ Electronic Materials (2014), which also helped us further diversify our product portfolio that was strongly driven by liquid crystals. Our Group Strategy considers certain foundational elements such as, first and foremost, a risk diversification strategy that ensures that we are not over-exposed to any single customer, industry or geography. We want to be a forward-thinking company generating long- term sustainable value. We focus our efforts and activities on innovative areas to add maximum value to the future of science and technology.

You can find more information on our strategy in our Annual Report 2018.

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