Its name means “bank of the workers”. Founded in 1922, to grant credits cheap, Bawag was controlled by the main trade union centre in the austrian ÖGB. Following speculation in derivatives, risky, especially with the u.s. broker-dealer, fraudulent Refco, and malfeasance of certain officers, she had come close to bankruptcy in 2007 and had been recapitaliseé in disaster by the austrian State. Deep in debt, the central had to sell it to the american investment fund Cerberus for € 3.2 billion.
Ten years after, the Bawag prepares her admission to the Vienna stock Exchange in what will be the most important introduction to the history of the country.
The Bawag is expected to raise 2.1 billion euros and would be valued at 5.2 billion euros. According to a prospectus published on Wednesday, the bank will offer up to 40,25 million shares to investors, representing more than 40% of its share capital, at a price of between 47 and 52 euros. The final price of the offer will be set around the 24th of October and the first listing will take place on the 25th.
One of the european banks “most profitable”
Presenting himself as “one of the austrian banks, the largest and best capitalized”, the Bawag boasts 2.2 million customers and a place among the “5% of the best european banks [in terms] of rate of return and efficiency”. It has achieved a net profit of 203 million euros in the first half, down 28% year on year.
“The ipo will provide us with better access to the capital market, a new ownership structure and a higher degree of independence”, said the head of the bank, Anas Abuzaakouk.
In 2012, another american fund, Golden Tree, entered the capital and holds a little less than 40%.
So far, the record on the Vienna stock Exchange was the construction group Strabag, which had raised $ 1.3 billion in 2007, ahead of Telekom Austria (€1.2 billion in 2000) and Raiffeisen Bank International ($1.1 billion in 2005).