In 1995 today’s voestalpine AG started out on its path to becoming a privatized and exchange-listed company.
On 9 October 1995, the first day that the former flagship company of nationalized industry in Austria was listed on the stock exchange, the initial offering price of the voestalpine AG (then still called VOEST-ALPINE STAHL AG) share was an amount equal to EUR 5.18
The initial public offering (IPO) was not solely the consequence of the adoption of the ÖIAG Act (Gesetz über Österreichische Industrie AG (ÖIAG)) in December 1993 that stipulated that a number of state-owned companies would gradually be fully or partially privatized. It was also necessary to raise funds on the capital markets which would enable the company to implement ambitious projects.
The 50-year anniversary of VOEST-ALPINE in 1995 simultaneously marked the end of its existence as a state-owned enterprise. The company prepared itself for its initial public offering by implementing its own TOP program of cost savings as well as a range of concentration processes. The company also presented itself and its share to the public during a road show in seven countries.
Opinions about the initial public offering
For former CEO Peter Strahammer the stock exchange offered “the ideal preconditions for financing attractive projects in future by issuing shares.” Erhard Koppler, in 1995 former Chairman of the Central Works Council, hoped these projects would also secure jobs over the long term. The banks who accompanied the share issue were primarily concerned with the company’s market position. The investment bank, Bank Austria, who coordinated the IPO, was of the opinion that the VOEST-ALPINE STAHL AG could do well even without subsidies.
October 9, 1995: 11.2 million shares issued
As the lead bank, Bank Austria played a special role in the share issue. They determined the issue price together with the issuer. The result of the so-called book building process was a share price on 9 October 1995 of 285 Austrian schillings (EUR 20.70 in today’s currency). After the 1:4 stock split in 2006, this is the equivalent of EUR 5.18 in today’s terms. The new shareholder structure: ÖIAG: 38.8 %, free float: 38.5 %, VA TECH: 22.7 %.
The 11.2 million shares issued on October 9, 1995 were in great demand, making the IPO one of the most successful in the history of Vienna’s stock exchange.
Two decades ago voestalpine AG started out on its path to becoming a privatized and exchange-listed company. The ‘IPO 1995—20 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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