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This article is about the company. For other uses, see Beiersdorf (disambiguation).
Beiersdorf Global AG
Public company
Traded as FWBBEI
Industry Personal care
Founded 28th March 1882
Headquarters Hamburg, Germany
Key people
Stefan F. Heidenreich (CEO and Chairman of the management board), Reinhard Pöllath (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Products Cosmetics
Revenue 6,285 million (2014)[1]
€ 796 million (2012)[1]
Profit € 537 million (2012)[1]
Number of employees
17,398 (end 2014)[1]

Beiersdorf AG is a German personal care company based in Hamburg, manufacturing personal care products. Its brands include Elastoplast, Eucerin (makers of Aquaphor), Labello, La Prairie, Nivea and tesa (tesa tape).

Although its shares are publicly listed, Beiersdorf is controlled by maxinvest AG (parent company of Tchibo), which directly owns 50.49 percent of shares.[2]


The old logo from 1979 to 2014.

The company was founded in 1882 by pharmacist Paul Carl Beiersdorf in Hamburg and sold to Oscar Troplowitz in 1890. Paul C. Beiersdorf's patent for a new manufacturing process of medical plasters, dated 28 March 1882, is regarded as foundation date of the company.

In 1906, the first white soap and in 1909 the first lip care stick named Labello were launched. Troplowitz kept working with his scientific consultant Paul Gerson Unna and the german chemist Isaac Lifschütz on a new skin care cream. As Lifschütz found the emulsifier Eucerit (= "the beautiful wax"), the basic ingredient of the NIVEA Creme was finally there and they started selling the skin care cream in December 1911.

The company kept growing: While in 1890 there were only eleven employees, in 1918 the company already employed about 500 people. In 1892 Troplowitz bought a property for the new company´s headquarter and Beiersdorf moved to Hamburg-Eimsbuettel. Thanks to this, the company was able to switch to a mechanical sytem and to expand the product range. As Troplowitz kept networking internationally, the products were well known worldwide very soon.

Dr. Oscar Troplowitz and his co-partner Dr. Otto Hanns Mankiewicz both died in 1918 so it was necessary that Beiersdorf went through different changes of the legal form. Finally, on 1st June 1922 the stock company P. Beiersdorf & Co. AG was founded. In the same year Hansaplast was released. Due to the social changes of the 1920s Beiersdorf decided to rework the image of the whole NIVEA brand. The tin of the NIVEA cream – until now yellow and green with Jugendstil ornaments – was reworked to the blue and white tin as we know it today. [3]

On April 1, 2001, the company founded an independent subsidiary, BSN Medical as a joint venture of Beiersdorf (Hamburg) and the British-based, American-owned Smith & Nephew (London) and serves on the market of surgical dressing, orthopaedics and phlebology. BSN Medical had 350 employees in Germany and 3,400 worldwide in 2004. The turnover received 504 mn euros and its operating income reached 70 mn euros. In 2006 BSN medical was sold to Montagu Private Equity for 1.03 bn euros.

Another subsidiary, "Beiersdorf Shared Services GmbH" was founded in 2003. BSS, to which Beiersdorf's IT and accounting services were outsourced, operates independently but serves as an internal partner for the whole Beiersdorf group. BSS employs 350 people worldwide, 275 of them in Hamburg.

Also in 2003, a 2-year bidding war ended. The American company Procter & Gamble had sought to purchase its competitor Beiersdorf and proposed a take-over deal to Allianz insurance, which then held 19.6% of Beiersdorf's stock. Fearing that Procter & Gamble was interested only in Beiersdorf's brands and not in the company as a whole, many in Hamburg preferred to retain local ownership. The city of Hamburg and its state-owned holding company HGV created such a solution. The Herz family, owner of the German company Tchibo, who already had a stake in Beiersdorf, increased their holdings to 49.9%. Allianz still held 3.6%; Beiersdorf AG bought up 7.4% of its shares, of which 3% were given to the Beiersdorf pension fund. Another share holder, a private family, retained their share. This public-private alliance ensured that Beiersdorf's headquarters would remain in Hamburg and continue to provide hundreds of jobs, while paying taxes of approximately 200 mn euros annually. [4] In June 2009 Allianz reduced its holdings from 7.2 to 2.88 percent.[5]

Beiersdorf has been present in India since the 1930s through its brand Nivea. For over 70 years, all of Beiersdorf's products were imported into India. However, Beiersdorf is currently building its first manufacturing facility in the Indian city of Sanand, located in the state of Gujarat. This factory will also house a R&D facility which will focus on innovations for Indian consumers as well as other markets. [6]

Stock exchange[edit]

Since 22 December 2008, Beiersdorf AG has been traded on the Deutschen Aktienindex (DAX).


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2014". Beiersdorf. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Hamburger Abendblatt (24 October 2003). "Sieg für Hamburg: Tchibo und Stadt kaufen Beiersdorf" (in German). Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  5. ^ Die Welt (27 June 2009). "Allianz reduziert Anteil an Beiersdorf-Konzern" (in German). Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]