Our history

Fresenius – a success story

Over the past 100 years, Fresenius has grown from a small pharmacy lab into the global health care group you know today. This film presents the company's history in a concise, matter-of-fact form.


  • The Hirsch Pharmacy opens in Frankfurt am Main. The Fresenius family assumes ownership in the 19th century.


  • The Fresenius family takes over Hirsch-Apotheke.


  • he pharmacist and proprietor of the Hirsch Pharmacy, Dr. Eduard Fresenius, founds the pharmaceutical company Dr. E. Fresenius.
  • He expands the pharmacy laboratory into a small manufacturing operation. Its main products are pharmaceutical specialties such as injection solutions, serologic reagents and Bormelin nasal ointment.


  • The manufacturing company is separated from the Hirsch Pharmacy and moves to Bad Homburg. Dr. Fresenius devotes more and more time to the company, which grows to around 400 employees.


  • The unexpected death of Eduard Fresenius endangers the further existence of the pharmacy and manufacturing company, which now has only 30 employees.


  • Else Fernau, the later Else Kröner, takes over responsibility for the pharmacy and company after she has obtained her degree in pharmacy studies.


  • The infusion solutions product range is expanded.


  • Fresenius opens up a manufacturing building for infusion solutions at Gluckensteinweg in Bad Homburg.


  • Fresenius starts to sell dialysis machines and dialyzers manufactured by various foreign companies and gains substantial market shares.


  • Launches an amino-acid solution based on the “potato-egg pattern.”


  • Fresenius starts to manufacture infusion solutions and medical disposables in St. Wendel, Saarland. Today, Fresenius produces highly innovative Polysulfone dialyzers in St. Wendel.


  • In a newly-acquired factory in Schweinfurt, production of the A2008 dialysis machine begins and the machine is awarded a gold medal at the Leipzig Trade Fair.


  • The company is converted into a joint stock company.


  • Fresenius takes up production of synthetic polysulfone fiber membranes for blood purification. These membranes today set the quality standards for dialyzers.


  • Fresenius employs 5,200 people; total sales exceed 1 billion deutsche marks.


  • Fresenius Medical Care is founded. Fresenius Medical Care today is the world's largest provider of dialysis products and dialysis services for individuals with chronic kidney failure.


  • Fresenius' new infusion solution factory in Friedberg/Hesse, the most modern in Europe, goes into operation. Consolidated sales amount to approximately 7.5 billion deutsche marks.


  • Fresenius acquires the international nutrition business of Pharmacia & Upjohn. In 1999, a new company, Fresenius Kabi AG, is created through the merger with the Fresenius Pharma Division. Fresenius Kabi is the European leader in the field of nutrition and infusion therapy with subsidiaries and distributors worldwide. 
  • Fresenius moves into the new head office in Bad Homburg. Fresenius has nearly 39,000 employees worldwide.


  • Fresenius acquires Wittgensteiner Kliniken AG, one of the major nationwide operators of private hospitals in Germany.
  • Fresenius, a health care group with worldwide operations and over 60,000 employees, achieves sales of around 7.3 billion euros.


  • With an output of more than 50 million dialyzers per year, Fresenius Medical Care sets a new record.


  • Fresenius acquires HELIOS, one of the top three private hospital operators in Germany.


  • Fresenius Medical Care takes over U.S. dialysis care provider Renal Care Group. Through its network of approximately 2,000 dialysis clinics in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis treatment to approximately 157,000 patients around the globe.


  • Fresenius becomes a European Company (SE).


  • Fresenius Kabi strengthens its business with intravenously administered generic drugs (I.V. generics) and expands into oncology drugs with the acquisition of the Indian company Dabur Pharma.
  • Fresenius Kabi enters into the North American pharmaceuticals market and becomes a globally leading company in the field of I.V. generics via the acquisition of the U.S. based APP Pharmaceuticals.


  • Fresenius SE’s preferred shares are admitted to the DAX index.


  • Fresenius Medical Care acquires Gambro's peritoneal dialysis business and completes acquisition of Asia Renal Care.


  • Conversion of all preference shares into ordinary shares in combination with a change of the company’s legal form into a partnership limited by shares – Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien (KGaA). Fresenius SE becomes Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA.


  • As Fresenius turns 100, the company is active in some 100 countries and has more than 160,000 employees.
  • Fresenius Medical Care produces the 500,000th dialysis machine.
  • Fresenius Kabi acquires Fenwal, thus becoming the market leader in transfusion technology.


  • Fresenius Helios completes the acquisition of 41 hospitals and 13 outpatient facilities from Rhön-Klinikum AG. Fresenius Helios now owns 111 hospitals in Germany and is Europe's largest private hospital operator.

    Fresenius also passes the milestone of 200,000 employees.


  • Fresenius is included in the EURO STOXX 50. The index tracks the share price development of 50 large publicly traded companies, representing various economic sectors, from twelve Eurozone countries.


  • Fresenius Helios acquires Quirónsalud, Spain’s largest private hospital operator.