For some time now, an Australian pension fund has been trying to increase the shares held in Vienna-Schwechat Airport. The board has repeatedly advised shareholders reject the mandatory offer. The Ministry of Economics has now completed the examination of the so-called investment control.
“Foreign investments in Austrian companies are generally to be welcomed, as they bring investment capital that is important for the further development of Austria as a business location. In the case of third-country investments in certain particularly sensitive areas that exceed certain thresholds, there is an examination as part of the investment control procedure. It is determined whether security and public order in Austria are maintained. Such a procedure was also carried out in the case of the current investment in Vienna-Schwechat Airport using all test criteria and has now been completed,” said Minister of Labor and Economic Affairs Martin Kocher.
The applicant already held just over 40 percent of the shares in Vienna Airport before the offer to increase its stake was examined. Even after the transaction, it will hold less than 50 percent. "As a result, it was possible to ensure through strict conditions that the foreign applicant does not gain any other dominant influence on Vienna International Airport through its investment: In addition to the two existing members of the Supervisory Board, the applicant may not nominate any Propose amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and have certain reporting obligations imposed on it. In the course of the proceedings, the applicant disclosed the ownership structure. There are no reasons that would speak in favor of prohibiting the investment. The investment is therefore not prohibited by the investment control authority," says Kocher.
Investment control is a multi-stage process. In the first step, an examination takes place at EU level within the framework of the EU cooperation mechanism. There is then a detailed national examination to clarify whether the foreign investment can pose a threat to security or public order in Austria, taking into account all relevant circumstances. In Austria, the Federal Ministry of Labor and Economics is responsible for this test.