The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320


August 28, 2006

Capitalism

N.B.: For the benefit of my English-speaking readers, I should perhaps explain in advance that GmbH = Ltd and AG = Inc., and that I don't know the English equivalent of an OEG, only that it's a more risky kind of company than a Ltd.

I received a letter today in which the Allianz Insurance Company, the previous owner of the house that I'm living in, told me that the house has been sold to a different company, the IAH Westbahnstrasse OEG. I thought it was interesting that the name of the company was exactly the same as the address of the house.

I decided to do some research.

I also found out that there are 106 IAH companies, apparently one for each house sold by the Allianz Insurance company.

I found out that the IAH Westbahnstrasse OEG is owned at 33.33% each by three other companies, the ECOI Immobilien GmbH, the GGJ Beteiligungs GmbH, and the Immobilien Allianz Holding GmbH.

Furthermore, I found out that ECOI Immobilien GmbH is owned 100% by P&K Estate GmbH; GGJ Beteiligungs GmbH is owned 100% by conwert Immobilien AG, and Immobilien Allianz Holding GmbH is owned 100% by ECO Business Immobilien AG.

Both conwert Immobilien AG and ECO Business Immobilien AG are run by the Viennese real estate tycoons GŁnter Kerbler and Johann Kowar. Incidentally, the company that took over the administration of the house is also owned by Kerbler and Kowar. Even the websites of these companies [1] [2] [3] are remarkably similar both in design and in the way they don't say a lot about the respective companies.

P&K Real Estate GmbH is apparently owned 90% by Pirelli RE and 10% by Kronberg International.

I don't know what kind of impact the sale of the house is going to have on my life, but the business construct that the new owners have erected is complicated enough to make me feel uneasy, even though I'm sure it's legal and that things like this are done all the time. There must be some kind of benefit in setting up 106 OEGs and having every OEG owned by the same three GmbHs, which in turn are owned by AGs, but unfortunately I'm only a simple person with a doctorate in English literature, so don't have the slightest idea what it could be.

But I'm pretty sure that money is involved in some way or other, and that's what makes it truly frightening.

Posted by Horst on August 28, 2006 10:41 PM to my so-called life | Tell-a-friend
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Comments
rimholz said on August 28, 2006 11:59 PM:

Don't know much about real estate in Austria. As a matter of fact, not much about it here in the US. However, the first thought that came to mind was that that purchase was one small part of an effort of these companies to buy up quite a bit of property in order to build something big i.e. an office building, shopping center,etc.

Horst said on August 29, 2006 12:08 AM:

No, in fact I found out that the Allianz insurance company sold all the real estate it owned to those companies -- 106 buildings in numerous locations all over Vienna, apparently sold for something like €400m, the biggest real estate deal that ever took place in Austria.

Jann said on August 29, 2006 03:28 AM:

A patient of mine (an intelligent young woman from a Yemenite family) once told me that she thought the main problem with the world was capitalism. At the time I thought that capitalism meant the same as free enterprise, so I found her statement puzzling. Just to be sure, I looked "capitalism" up in the dictionary; the definition I found, "The acquisition of wealth," convinced me that she was very likely right!

mrh said on August 29, 2006 08:57 AM:

Not much too worry about at the moment, Horst. There is a lot of restructuring going on at Allianz AG (plc.), jobs are being downsized, parts of the company transferred to holding companies, etc. Selling off assets such as real estate and property to subsidiaries is considered a "quick win" - a short-time achievement. It may help boosting net earnings, or recovering from loss in a given financial year.

If you are paranoid enough you might start rereading your lease contract to see in which ways your rent can be increased by the landlord and in what time.

More news regarding Allianz can be found on:
http://www.google.com/finance?cid=673415&morenews=10&rating=1&origin=40

dieter said on August 30, 2006 09:36 AM:

@ mrh, isn't the question always whether you are paranoid enough? ;-)

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