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Rautner Advises Oekostrom on First Offering of Equity Shares via Crowd-Investing in Austria

Rautner Advises Oekostrom on First Offering of Equity Shares via Crowd-Investing in Austria

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Rautner has advised Oekostrom AG, working in cooperation with the crowdfunding platform Conda AG, on the successfully April 2017 carrying out of the first offering of equity shares via crowd-investing in Austria. The offering was placed within two days of the subscription period.

According to Rautner, "this new, modern, and cost efficient form of entrepreneurial financing was made possible by Austria’s 'Act on Alternative Financing' (Alt-FG), which facilitates the issuance of shares under EUR 5 million (i.e. Prospectus according to Schema F), and the use of crowdfunding strategies for the offering. In this case, companies need to invest less time and financial resources into the share distribution network and the preparation of a prospectus for investors. Similarly, investors get a faster overview of the company that they might invest in."

The firm explained that: "A crucial factor for the success of the securities offering was the close coordination of Oekostrom AG and its legal advisers with Austria’s Financial Market Authority (FMA), in addressing the legal question of how far the support of a crowdfunding platform, which usually has no investment license, is permitted by law for the placement of securities. If the platform is too active and channels concrete offers, or if it advises individual investors, then this activity may qualify as an investment service from a regulatory perspective and may be subject to financial regulation. Such a scenario would place additional regulatory requirements and therefore more economic burden on the crowdfunding platform, which one would wish to avoid."

With the income received from the equity sale, Rautner reports, Oekostrom AG intends to multiply its power plants for renewable energy production, increase its customer base, and strengthen its capital structure.

The Rautner team included Partners Uwe Rautner and Walter Gapp and Managing Associate Rene Semmelweis.

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