VWR is a leading, independent provider of laboratory products, services and solutions to the global life science, general research and applied markets. We have the #1 market share position in Europe with the broadest Pan-European platform and the #2 market share position in North America in the $39 billion global laboratory products market. Additionally, we have operations in Asia-Pacific and other key emerging markets to support our multi-national customers around the globe. VWR serves a critical role in connecting over 300,000 customer sites with over 4,000 core laboratory product suppliers across multiple industries and geographies. We offer one of the broadest portfolios of branded and private label laboratory products and a full range of value-added services, including custom manufacturing, to meet our customers’ needs.
With an offering of over three million unique products, VWR has developed an extensive global infrastructure comprised of over 160 facilities and approximately 4,000 sales and service-focused professionals. We deliver value to our customers by improving the costs, efficiency and effectiveness of their research laboratories and production operations. We deliver value to our suppliers by providing them with cost-effective channel access to a global and diverse customer base.
Our portfolio includes chemicals, reagents, consumables, durable products and scientific equipment and instruments with a range of complexity and sophistication. We offer most of the leading branded products in the customer segments we serve. Our private label products enhance our branded product offerings by providing additional choice at varying price points to our customers. We complement our branded and private label product portfolio with value-added service offerings marketed under “VWRCATALYST”, including sourcing and procurement, logistics, chemical and equipment tracking and sample management. We have recently expanded our service offerings to include more complex scientific research support services, such as DNA extraction, bioreactor servicing and compound management. In addition, we offer custom manufacturing solutions, including buffers, reagents and other chemicals used in biopharmaceutical and industrial applications and production processes. We believe these growing value-added service offerings integrate us within our customers’ critical operational processes and further differentiate our value proposition from that of our competitors. We believe our range of offerings and capabilities enhances our ability to expand our addressable market and gain market share leading to incremental net sales and profits.
Over our 162-year history, we have built longstanding and extensive customer relationships. In 2013, we provided solutions to over 120,000 customers, including 227 Fortune 500 companies, approximately 4,500 leading academic institutions and thousands of smaller businesses in multiple industries.