May & Baker Nigeria Plc was founded on September 4, 1944 as Nigeria's first pharmaceutical company.
It has its origin in England, the United Kingdom in 1834 where three chemists founded Grimwade, May & Pickett, a firm for manufacturing chemicals for pharmaceutical products.
In 1839, Grimwade, May & Pickett transformed into May& Baker United Kingdom Limited following some changes in the ownership.
May & Baker UK Limited later transformed into a mega European conglomerate through a web of mergers and acquisitions over years. Consequently the name of the company has changed at different times and today, only the Nigerian offshoot is known by the original name.
In Nigeria the company started as May & Baker (West Africa) Limited at 17A Tinubu Street, Lagos in 1944, a trading outpost to serve the West Coast of Africa.
The company relocated to its present site at Ikeja, Lagos state during the Nigerian civil war.
In 1976, it built its present factory at Ikeja where it began local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. That same year it changed from May & Baker (West Africa) to May & Baker Nigeria Limited.
In 1979, following the indigenization decree which required that foreign interest in companies operating in Nigeria be of a minority nature, May & Baker, United Kingdom relinquished 60 per cent of its equity holding in May & Baker Nigeria to Nigerians while retaining 40 percent.
May & Baker Nigeria Limited became a publicly quoted company following its listing by introduction in the Nigeria Stock Exchange on November 10, 1994 and became May & Baker Nigeria Plc.
For many years expatriates sent by the parent company managed May & Baker Nigeria but in 1997, the first indigenous Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Ikemefuna Odumodu, was appointed.
In 2002 the company became 100 percent owned by Nigerians with the complete buyout of the foreign partners.
The foreign partners represented by Aventis SA France remained technical associates of May & Baker Nigeria Plc for a long time.
Following the merger of Aventis and Sanofi, another French firm, to form Sanofi Aventis in 2004, the technical relationship subsisted between May & Baker Nigeria Plc and Sanofi-Aventis of France.
That relationship was renegotiated in 2006 and May & Baker Nigeria Plc can now enter into and maintain technical and business partnerships any where in the world.