2005: The end of state involvement 2 minutes spent reading

2005: The end of state involvement

Volkmar Held
As a freelance writer, Volkmar Held reports for voestalpine on topics that move people. The content of his stories ranges from archaeometallurgy to future technologies.

At the time the convertible bond was issued on 31 August 2005, the state finally withdrew completely from voestalpine AG.

After the final privatization decision in September 2003, the ÖIAG divested itself of its shareholding in voestalpine AG. But hesitantly, it appeared.

Political calculations

voestalpine GasometerIn the autumn of 2003 the Österreichische Industrieholding AG (ÖIAG) had only divested itself of a little over half of its voestalpine shares. A further 15% of Group shares had been issued in the form of a convertible bond (2006). This initially generated proceeds of EUR 245 million for the ÖIAG. As owner, it was also in a position to receive dividends. But more importantly, as the trustee for the state, the ÖIAG retained its right to a say in the company’s management, and, together with the Mitarbeiterstiftung and/or major (Upper) Austrian shareholders, could have formed a blocking minority.

Attractive exchange

Foreign investors were finally given the right to acquire voestalpine shares using the instrument of the convertible bond. In order to acquire shares they had to exchange their repayment entitlementsthe deposited sum plus 1.5% interestfor the remaining Group shares within the period November 12, 2003 and August 10, 2006. The price was set at EUR 41.275 per share. The more the share price rose above this level, the more attractive the exchange became.

Private at last

voestalpine LogoThe value of the share price, which had doubled between the start of the conversion period and August 2005, made the exchange a profitable option: the bond was converted into voestalpine shares a year ahead of the deadline. This meant that voestalpine AG was completely privatized as of 31 August 2005.
The Group’s new course was now visible in the form of the fresh brand image, and the claim ‘One step ahead’.


Two decades ago voestalpine AG started out on its path to becoming a privatized and exchange-listed company. The ‘IPO 199520 years on the stock exchange’ series describes key events on the path to becoming an internationally successful steel-based technology and capital goods group.

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Volkmar Held