Beiersdorf AG

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Beiersdorf AG

legal form Corporation
ISIN DE0005200000
founding March 28, 1882
Seat Hamburg , GermanyGermanyGermany 
Number of employees 20,654
sales 7.653 billion euros (2019)
Branch Consumer goods production
As of December 31, 2019

Entrance to the Hamburg-Hausbruch plant

The Beiersdorf AG is a listed global German consumer goods company based in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel , the majority-owned by the Maxingvest  AG , a holding company of the Herz family , is located. Brands such as 8 × 4 , Nivea , Tesa , Labello , Eucerin and Hansaplast belong to Beiersdorf AG .

Group structure

One of Beiersdorf's best-known products: Nivea Creme
Leukoplast on tin spool in tin can from Beiersdorf

Beiersdorf, with its two business segments Consumer and tesa (independent subgroup since 2001), is the umbrella brand manufacturer of numerous branded and cosmetic products , including Nivea , Labello , Hansaplast , Eucerin , Florena , 8 × 4 , atrix , La Prairie , SLEK (hair care products for the Chinese market ) or tesa.

In December 2010 it was announced that the company under a new brand strategy of the brands Juvena and hair care products from Marlies Möller separates. Both brands will be continued by the Austrian Troll Cosmetics .

The seat is in Hamburg , other German locations are Berlin , Offenburg and Waldheim . The location in Vienna is being expanded as the headquarters for Central and Eastern Europe.


Logo from 1979 to 2014; the four points once stood for the four divisions of the company (Cosmed, Medical, Pharma and Tesa)


The company was founded in Hamburg in 1882 by pharmacist Paul Carl Beiersdorf and taken over by Oscar Troplowitz in 1890 . The history of Beiersdorf begins with a patent dated March 28, 1882 by the pharmacist Paul C. Beiersdorf. It describes a novel process he developed for the production of medical plasters. This date is considered to be the founding date of the Beiersdorf company.

In the first few years of the company's history, Troplowitz was not only producing medical plasters but also developing the first adhesive tapes. With his work, he laid the foundations for the later adhesive products of the tesa brands and Hansaplast, which was first sold in 1922 .

After Troplowitz launched the first lip care stick with a sliding sleeve housing under the name Labello in 1909 , he worked on a new type of skin cream with his scientific advisor Paul Gerson Unna and the German chemist Isaac Lifschütz . On the basis of the found of Lifschütz Eucerits (Eucerit: gr. "Beautiful wax"), a water-in-oil emulsifier was carried out from December 1911, the sale of the first stable fat and moisturizer in the world under the name Nivea .

From 1890 to 1918 the number of employees increased from 11 to 500. In 1892 Troplowitz bought a piece of land for the new company headquarters and Beiersdorf moved to Hamburg-Eimsbüttel . After switching to machine operation, the product range could also be expanded. Since Troplowitz made numerous international contacts right from the start, the products quickly became known worldwide. In 1914 there were branches on all five continents.

Oscar Troplowitz and his co-partner Otto Hanns Mankiewicz died in 1918. As a result, Beiersdorf had to change its legal form and on June 1, 1922, it became the P. Beiersdorf & Co. AG stock corporation . In the same year Hansaplast came onto the market. In 1925 the brand image of Nivea was changed and the characteristic blue and white can was introduced.

The Beiersdorf share was first traded on the Hamburg stock exchange in 1928 . In addition, there were now 20 production sites worldwide. Numerous new products have been developed and launched, for example shampoo and shaving cream. In 1936, tesa was also introduced as a brand. Today it is still synonymous with self-adhesive, transparent adhesive strips.

At the time of its 50th anniversary in 1932, Beiersdorf already had over 1,400 employees.


Share of P. Beiersdorf & Co AG for RM 1000 in December 1941

In 1933 the Beiersdorf executive board was put under such pressure by the National Socialists that all Jewish members, like Willy Jacobsohn , who had been chairman since 1922 , resigned. Because of the Jewish origins of the founding family, there were hate campaigns in party newspapers, including in the Stürmer , and campaigns: “Don't buy Jewish cream”. Jacobsohn himself carried out the foreign subsidiaries from Amsterdam , but emigrated to the USA in 1938 . During the time of National Socialism, Carl Claussen was CEO of Beiersdorf. Attempts were made to keep the advertising for Nivea free of Nazi echoes. Beiersdorf hired Elly Heuss-Knapp , the wife of the later first Federal President Theodor Heuss , who was responsible for advertising at various companies at the time.

At the end of the Second World War , not only were the production facilities and administration buildings in Hamburg destroyed, but above all the trademark rights to the various Beiersdorf brands were confiscated by the Allies . After the war, Beiersdorf began laboriously to buy back these trademark rights.

In 1949 Beiersdorf generated sales of DM 30 million.

In 1951, Beiersdorf brought out the first product from what would later become the 8 × 4 brand group, a “deodorizing toilet and bath soap”. This was the cornerstone for further deodorant developments from 8 × 4 such as Deopuder, aerosol spray as well as deodorant rollers and deodorant sticks.


In 1972 the number of employees had increased significantly: around 10,000 people worked for Beiersdorf worldwide. In 1974 Beiersdorf changed its organization and introduced what is known as the divisional organization, divided into cosmed, medical, pharma and tesa. The heirs of Max Herz (Tchibo) took over a 25 percent stake in the company.

In 1981 sales of DM 2 billion were achieved for the first time. In 1989 the company began to reorient itself strategically. Three key areas were identified: skin care , adhesive technology, and wound care . The production processes were standardized more, the brand policy was standardized worldwide and the company concentrated strongly on the field of cosmetics .

In the 1990s, Beiersdorf began to buy back the missing trademark rights - for example in Great Britain , Australia and South Africa  - and eventually became one of the largest skin care brands in the world. However, it was not until 1997 that all trademark rights could be bought back. The last buyback is the majority stake in the Polish company Beiersdorf-Lechia SA in Poznan (today Nivea Polska sp. Z oo ).

After 2000

Beiersdorf Bär , Franklinstrasse 1, in Berlin-Charlottenburg

On April 1, 2001, tesa AG was founded as a Beiersdorf subsidiary. In 2018, the subsidiary offered more than 7,000 different adhesive products and systems for industrial customers as well as for end users.

On April 1, 2001, an independent subsidiary, BSN medical, was founded in Hamburg. As a joint venture between Beiersdorf (Hamburg) and Smith & Nephew  (London), BSN medical operated in the field of wound care , orthopedics and phlebology . In 2004 BSN Medical employed 350 people in Germany and 3400 worldwide. The turnover was 504 million euros and the operating result was 70 million euros. In spring 2006 BSN medical was sold to the holding company Montagu Private Equity for 1.03 billion euros .

In 2002, when Beiersdorf Shared Services GmbH (BSS) was founded, the IT and accounting departments were outsourced to a wholly-owned subsidiary . BSS acts as an internal IT and accounting service provider and partner of the entire Beiersdorf Group and acts as an independent company. More than 300 employees currently work at the headquarters in Hamburg. It is represented in 75 countries worldwide.

In 2003 a two-year takeover battle ended. The participation of the prospective buyer and competitor Procter & Gamble  (P&G) could be prevented by a so-called Hamburg solution. A consortium led by Tchibo Holding AG (now Maxingvest  AG ) bought 19.6% of the shares from Allianz SE , increasing its stake to 49.9%, while Allianz kept 3.6%. The HGV Hamburger Gesellschaft für Vermögens- und Beteiligungsmanagement mbH , which belongs to the city of Hamburg , acquired a further 10% of the former shares in Allianz and sold them again after around three years. Beiersdorf bought 7.4% back itself, and 3% went to the Beiersdorf pension fund (Troma old-age and survivors' foundation). Hamburg politicians had previously feared that P&G could bleed the company to death and only sell the brands after the US company had acquired the 75% stake required to restructure a company by purchasing Allianz shares. In June 2009, Allianz announced that it had reduced its stake from 7.2 to 2.88%.

The Hirtler soap factory in Heitersheim in southern Baden , which was completely taken over in 1984 , was sold at the turn of the year 2006/2007 as part of the restructuring of the group, but the factory continued to be a supplier of the fine soaps product line .

In 2008, the opponent requested Unilever at the German Patent and Trademark Office the cancellation of the 2007 registered color mark for the Nivea Blue. This request was granted in 2010. Beiersdorf's lawsuit against this decision was dismissed by the Federal Patent Court in 2013 . Beiersdorf lodged a legal complaint with the Federal Court of Justice  (BGH). At the beginning of July 2015, the BGH came to its verdict: It criticized excessively strict standards for trademark protection, overturned the decision of the Federal Patent Court and decided that the case had to be reopened before the Federal Patent Court.


Beiersdorf is one of the leading listed companies in German post-war history. In December 2008, the Beiersdorf share was included in the German share index (DAX) . The company's share capital is divided into 252 million  ordinary shares . The majority shareholder is the Maxingvest group with 51%.

The shareholder structure is as follows:

proportion of Shareholders
51.01% Maxingvest
9.99% own shares
39.00% Free float

As of December 31, 2017


  • Katrin Cura: From pharmacy to chemical factory - 125 years of Beiersdorf. Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau 60 (11), pp. 579-581 (2007), ISSN  0028-1050 .
  • Jesko Dahlmann: Innovative entrepreneurship in the sense of Schumpeter: theory and economic history. Metropolis-Verlag, Marburg 2017, pp. 231-271, ISBN 3-7316-1313-1 .
  • Thorsten Finke: P. Beiersdorf & Co. AG under National Socialism: internal alignment, reorientation of advertising communication . University of Hamburg (Master's thesis), Hamburg 2006.
  • Ekkehard Hardly: Oscar Troplowitz, researcher, entrepreneur, citizen . Verlag Günther Wesche, Hamburg 1982, ISBN 3-9239-6800-0 .
  • 100 years of Beiersdorf 1882–1982 . BDF G, printed by Hans Christians Druckerei, Hamburg 1982

Web links

Commons : Beiersdorf AG  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Annual Report 2019 (PDF) Beiersdorf website, accessed on March 5, 2020 .
  2. Our brands. Beiersdorf website, accessed December 25, 2013 .
  3. Anja Janotta: Beiersdorf repels Juvena and Marlies Möller. December 20, 2010, accessed December 20, 2010 .
  4. ^ Beiersdorf AG: Beiersdorf Chronicle Beiersdorf Chronicle . Retrieved May 12, 2014 (DOCX).
  5. Claudia Hansen: The emergence of Nivea. In: Nivea - Development of a World Brand , Beiersdorf AG, Hamburg 1995, p. 8/9.
  6. a b Nivea: From everyday product to cult brand. In: Website NDR. May 9, 2011, accessed July 9, 2015 .
  7. a b c d e Stern: The Beiersdorf Story ( Memento from January 6, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), March 27, 2007. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  8. NDR: The man who invented Nivea cream . Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  9. Our story: personalities. In: Beiersdorf AG website. Retrieved July 9, 2015 .
  10. ^ Spiegel: The Films of the First Lady . Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  11. Zeit: Thanks to adhesive plaster patent to global corporation . Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  12. Beiersdorf AG: Brand history 8 × 4  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Retrieved July 10, 2015.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  13. tesa AG: Tesa: Numbers, facts, people . Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  14. ^ Beiersdorf Shared Services. Retrieved June 23, 2010 .
  15. We belong to Beiersdorf. (No longer available online.) In: Website Beiersdorf AG. Archived from the original on July 11, 2015 ; Retrieved July 9, 2015 .
  16. ^ Hamburger Abendblatt: Victory for Hamburg: Tchibo and the city buy Beiersdorf. October 24, 2003, accessed September 8, 2009 .
  17. Die Welt : Allianz reduces stake in Beiersdorf Group. June 27, 2009, accessed September 8, 2010 .
  18. Press release Beiersdorf AG: Beiersdorf plans to sell the Hirtler soap factory. (No longer available online.) July 19, 2006, formerly in the original ; Retrieved August 5, 2012 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  19. Press release Beiersdorf AG: Seifenfabrik Hirtler GmbH, Heitersheim, in new hands. (No longer available online.) February 16, 2007, formerly in the original ; Retrieved August 5, 2012 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  20. ^ Badische Zeitung : Bad times, good times. June 16, 2012, accessed August 5, 2012 .
  21. ^ Badische Zeitung : Chemistry combined with technology. July 27, 2012, accessed August 5, 2012 .
  22. ^ Resolution in the complaint concerning the trademark 305 71 072. (PDF) In: Website Federal Patent Court. March 19, 2013, accessed July 9, 2015 .
  23. ^ Battle for Nivea blue: stage win for Beiersdorf. In: Website NDR. July 9, 2015, archived from the original on July 12, 2015 ; Retrieved July 9, 2015 .
  24. Shareholder structure , accessed December 15, 2018