ÖBIB and its predecessors have a long history that dates back to the post-war years and spans the Second Republic era.
- On July 26, 1946, Austria’s National Council adopted the First Nationalization Act to prevent “German-owned” companies falling into the hands of the Soviet occupation forces.
- Altogether, these “German-owned” companies made up one-fifth of Austria’s added value and included the country’s three largest banks, the entire metals and coal mining sector, the entire petroleum extraction and processing sector, and all of the important companies in heavy industry.
- The nationalized industry was managed directly by the government at that time
- In 1967, management of the government’s interests in most nationalized companies was consolidated in the newly formed Österreichische Industrieverwaltungs GesmbH (ÖIG).
- In 1970, ÖIG became a joint stock company (Aktiengesellschaft), ÖIAG, and underwent extensive restructuring.
- Some of the companies held by ÖIAG started to report losses in the early 1980s. Because of this, ÖIAG was restructured again in 1986. Conglomerates were split up to create new industry shareholdings. The aim was to use the proceeds from privatization to rehabilitate the companies and privatize them through the stock exchange.
- In 1993, the industry shareholdings were liquidated again, and a revised version of the ÖIAG Act required ÖIAG to “cede the majority interest in industrial shareholdings it holds directly to industrial companies within a reasonable time. (…) Care shall be taken to ensure that Austrian industrial enterprises and industrial value added are preserved, when economically justifiable.”
- The ÖIAG Act 2000 marked another milestone. Its purpose was to force privatization and sell companies for the best-possible returns while preserving Austrian interests. Proceeds from privatizations totalling EUR 6.3 billion (cumulative between 2000 and 2012) were used to reduce ÖBIB’s debt. For an overview of the privatization period, see the ÖIAG review between 2000 and 2010 (in German).
- Moreover, the new law made bodies within ÖIAG largely independent from their owner, the Republic of Austria, by creating a self-renewing supervisory board.
- A revision of the ÖIAG Act 2000 – the ÖBIB Act - was adopted in 2015, which gave the company a new strategic direction to account for national and international developments. The priority is to preserve the owner’s interests and manage and monitor the shareholdings of the federal
- government for the purposes of responsible, sustainable, and long-term value creation.
The business name and legal form of ÖIAG was changed into ÖBIB Österreichische Bundes- und Industriebeteiligungen GmbH. ÖBIB does not have its own supervisory board. Instead, it is required to regularly report on essential issues and developments to the Federal Minister of Finance, who in turn reports to the Federal Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor.
- As of March 2015, members of the supervisory boards of the federal government’s ÖBIB shareholdings are put forward by a Nominating Committee.
- In March 2015, ÖBIB acquired the 33.24% interest in Casinos Austria AG that was previously held by the Austrian Mint (Münze Österreich AG).