A new model in Austria and continued expansion internationally ensure that voestalpine employee participation remains above the strategically important 10%-share mark.
The latest (and ninth) model of the voestalpine Employee Participation is just a few months old – management and the Works Council agreed on this new model as part of the collective agreement in November 2014.
"The execution of the collective agreement again provides us with an opportunity to implement a new model."
Expansion made in Austria
The Austrian version of the Employee Participation is based on the premise that employees receive a small part of the collective agreement increase in the form of voestalpine shares (0.2%) and the company pays an additional amount, as is the case in the international model. Additionally, there is a tax-related benefit. “With the new model, we can continue to secure voting rights, which is highly dependent on the long-term development of the share price,” says Max Stelzer. This means that the chances are quite good that the stake of the Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung (Employee Participation) will remain above the 10% mark, which is important for the employees to have a core shareholder role. Currently, 12.6% of the shares are owned by employees. Additionally the Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung holds 1.8 million private shares (1.1%) owned by employees. Thus, the voestalpine Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung represents a total of 13.7% of the voting rights of voestalpine AG, making it the largest Employee Participation in Austria, both as far as share value and voting percentage are concerned.
"Model IX and the international development of employee participation mean more voting rights that will ensure the development of our Group and also more opportunity for each individual to directly participate in the company’s success. "
International participation is also expanding
More and more countries and companies want to participate in the Employee Participation, but international expansion is only possible gradually because the various tax and legal systems are extremely complex. “Two other countries have been added this year—the Czech Republic and Italy—each with a pilot company.” Kathrin Lutz, assistant in the Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung team, is delighted. As the “pilot runs” were successful, nine additional companies will follow in these two countries during the next business year 2015/16 to strengthen employee participation for the greater good.
"Continuing further development of the Employee Participation is a central component of our strategy to ensure sustainable ownership structure in the long term. Our concept of having employees who are core shareholders is unique in Europe and stands as an example for many other companies. "