The acquisition of a majority stake in BÖHLER-UDDEHOLM AG in 2007 created an even more internationalized and specialized voestalpine with extraordinary productivity.
After a decision that was disclosed unexpectedly, voestalpine took over the 100% publicly traded special steel specialist BÖHLER-UDDEHOLM in 2007/08.
Prior to the disclosure of the takeover, there was an attempt by a foreign investment company to acquire BÖHLER-UDDEHOLM. Therefore, the Austrian solution was met with approval. The acquisition of the shares took place in several stages:
- March 2007: about 21% of the shares were directly acquired by major investors;
- June 2007: stake goes up to 54% with the implementation of the takeover bid;
- September 2007: stake goes up to just over 80% at the end of the grace period;
- March 2008: stake goes up to 90.65% as a result of additional purchases, surpassing the voting rights threshold;
- June 2008: Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting resolves squeeze-out in order to acquire remaining shares;
- September 2008: voestalpine owns 100% of BÖHLER-UDDEHOLM.
By acquiring BÖHLER-UDDEHOLM, voestalpine acquired a special steel manufacturer and processor with a global presence. For the new Group, this was a significant step toward increased internationalization and acquiring processing expertise. Both the processing share of the Group’s consolidated earnings and the percentage of employees outside of Austria rose to more than 50 percent. More than 38,000 employees were now working for the company. Four percent of Austria’s economic output was generated by voestalpine AG. BÖHLER-UDDEHOLM was fully integrated into the Group as the Special Steel Division, the Group’s fifth division.
Effect on the share price
Analysts viewed the integration primarily as a strengthening of voestalpine’s niche position. The price target was consistently raised by more than ten percent. The voestalpine share continued to appreciate in the positive global economic environment until it reached its all-time high in July 2007.
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.