European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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Apr 16, 2014

Conwert gets new offer for German portfolio

VIENNA, April 16 (Reuters) – The former administrative board
chief of Austrian real-estate firm Conwert has made an
offer for the company’s German portfolio together with a
consortium of investors.

A source with knowledge of the matter said the offer was
worth about 750 million to 800 million euros ($1.04-1.11
billion), corresponding to the net asset value of the German
business, and that the consortium was led by a major U.S.
insurer.

Apr 15, 2014

Rebel investor seeks to join Conwert’s board

VIENNA, April 15 (Reuters) – Rebel investor Alexander
Proschofsky has put himself forward to join the board of
Austria’s Conwert, signaling more upheaval for the
property firm whose management he has criticised in the past.

The 44-year-old founder of Cube Invest proposed himself and
a German real-estate consultant as alternatives to the two
candidates proposed by the company, who he said were too close
to major shareholder Hans Peter Haselsteiner.

Apr 3, 2014

Austria’s BauMax to close Turkish DIY stores

VIENNA, April 3 (Reuters) – Struggling Austrian
home-improvements store chain BauMax will close its seven
outlets in Turkey and may exit other markets in southeast
Europe, its owner said.

BauMax, which employs about 10,000 staff in nine countries,
made a loss of 126 million euros ($173 million) in 2012 after
overextending itself with a push into eastern Europe, and most
recently into Turkey in 2010. It has not published 2013 results.

Mar 20, 2014

Austria picks up pieces of biggest post-war bankruptcy

VIENNA, March 20 (Reuters) – In a vast warehouse in the
small town of Trumau near Vienna, some of the remnants of
Austria’s biggest post-war bankruptcy are laid out in thousands
of neatly arranged lots.

A handful of potential buyers pick over the piles of drills,
saws, cables, buckets and pumps that are being auctioned off to
make a few million euros for the creditors of Alpine Bau, a
former unit of Spanish construction group FCC.

Mar 3, 2014

U.S. urges Russia to support sending OSCE monitors to Ukraine

VIENNA (Reuters) – A senior U.S. diplomat urged Russia on Monday to support sending an OSCE observer mission to Ukraine to help monitor human rights and defuse the tense military situation.

But Moscow’s ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Europe’s leading human rights and democracy watchdog, was non-committal, saying some international missions may do more harm than good.

Feb 28, 2014

Jewish leader fears right-wing bloc ahead of European elections

VIENNA (Reuters) – The European Jewish Congress fears far-right gains in upcoming European elections and believes a grouping presenting itself as simply populist and eurosceptical is just as dangerous as out-and-out extremists, the EJC’s president said.

Some analysts forecast that a group of anti-euro parties could capture 20 percent of seats in May’s European parliament elections as high unemployment, austerity and anaemic growth offer prime conditions for fringe parties to flourish.

Feb 27, 2014

Kardashian confronts tradition at elite Vienna ball

VIENNA (Reuters) – At 24, Olga Goreglyad is a veteran of society balls around Europe but her ambition will not be fulfilled until she dances on Thursday night as a debutante at Vienna’s Opera Ball – something celebrity guest Kim Kardashian will not be doing.

Almost every social group and profession in Austria, from confectioners to firefighters and pharmacists to refugees, holds its own ball, but the Opera Ball is the most elite, with a presidential opening and top-class music and ballet.

Feb 26, 2014

Telekom Austria freezes dividend for third year

VIENNA, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Telekom Austria said it
would freeze its dividend for the third year in a row, as sales
and profits fell sharply in the fourth quarter due to tough
competition in its main markets.

The company, expected to be the target of a takeover bid by
Carlos Slim’s America Movil, said on Wednesday
fourth-quarter core profit fell 18 percent as sales dropped in
Austria, Bulgaria and Croatia – its biggest markets.

Feb 25, 2014

Slim closes in on pact to secure Telekom Austria

VIENNA, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Carlos Slim’s America Movil and
the Austrian government are moving towards a deal to pool their
stakes in Telekom Austria, which would lead to a
takeover offer and mark a further step in the Mexican tycoon’s
expansion in Europe.

Austria’s economy minister said on Tuesday talks about
creating a pact, which both parties said had been informal so
far, could wrap up within weeks.

Feb 25, 2014

RHI aims to get a grip on Norway plant within two years

VIENNA, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Austrian fireproof materials
maker RHI is confident it can make profitable within
two years a Norwegian plant whose troubles cut into the
company’s full-year results.

Chief Executive Franz Strutzl said on Tuesday the idea of
shutting down the magnesia-fusion plant was now off the table,
as major technical problems had been resolved, although work
remained to be done to reduce production costs.

    • About Georgina

      "Currently based in London, with particular responsibility for professional publishers and the European activities of global technology, media and telecoms firms. Previously European technology correspondent based in Frankfurt. Began career in local radio in Glasgow and then worked in TV news for many years for Reuters, the BBC and Sky News in London and Moscow."
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