Controls Ministry – Vienna Airport: IFM did not want a change of control


Major shareholder IFM wants to buy more shares in Vienna Airport. The majority of states of Vienna and Lower Austria with the workers’ fund, announced on Wednesday, are not changing the strategy, Werner Kerschl, executive director of IFM Investors, told the APA on Thursday. The IFM Group owns 40 percent of Vienna Airport and has offered to buy up to 10 percent. However, the goal was never a change of control, Kerschl emphasizes.

Vienna and Lower Austria announced on Wednesday that they have bought eight additional airport shares. This increases their syndicated stake to 40 percent plus eight shares, along with the employee fund, which owns exactly 10 percent, these Austrian core shareholders now have a narrow majority. In contrast, the IFM Group also owns 40 percent of the airport plus some shares and has made a free float offer. Kerschl did not want to comment on the development of interest in the offer on Thursday.

Ministry of Economic Affairs is investigating
The increase of the shares in the IFM Group is currently under investigation by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in accordance with the provisions of the Investment Supervision Act. One element is the opaque participation structure. A Luxembourg company is directly involved, but ultimately belongs to a trust company in the Cayman Islands through nesting. It is advised by IFM Investors, a company owned by 19 Australian pension funds.

In the Cayman Islands, on the other hand, an IFM Global Infrastructure Fund determines the shares. Despite the nominative agreement, Kerschl leaves open whether the Australian funds exercise control over the trust company in the Cayman Islands outside of the advisory business. This is a subject in the context of the study of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. However, Kerschl emphasizes that the chosen construction is an international standard. And the Cayman Islands fund invests long-term capital, “primarily from pension funds.”

Source: Krone


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