Austria tobacco

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Austria tobacco

legal form Company with limited liability
founding Tobacco director 1784 (legal form 2006)
Seat Vienna 16 , AustriaAustriaAustria 
management Libikas Linas, Marco Bordignon, Tobias Christian (2020)
Branch Tobacco products

The Austria Tabak GmbH is the legal successor of the previously listed Austria Tabak  AG, whose origins are as a corporation in 1939 ( Austria Tabak Werke  AG), and formerly the set up for the Hapsburg era Austrian tobacco monopoly is. Until Austria joined the EU, Austria Tabak held a domestic monopoly on the cultivation , processing , import and distribution of tobacco and tobacco products. After being listed on the stock exchange in 1997, Austria Tabak was 100% privatized in 2001 and sold by the state-owned ÖIAG to the British Gallaher Group , then the fifth largest tobacco company in the world. Austria Tabak has been part of JT International  (JTI), which took over the Gallaher company, since April 18, 2007 . JTI is a subsidiary of Japan Tobacco Inc., the world's third largest international manufacturer of tobacco products, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.



There was a tendency towards monopoly in the Habsburg Empire as early as the early 18th century . Therefore, around 1700, tobacco growing outside of home gardens was banned. From 1723 cultivation licenses were required and the free sale was prohibited. In 1764, Empress Maria Theresa issued a monopoly for Austria (ie Upper and Lower Austria , see Inner Austria ), which she left to a private company.

The full monopoly from 1784 to 1996

In 1784 the Austrian Tobacco Directorate was founded under Joseph II as a full monopoly for all Austrian countries. This was intended, among other things, to take care of war invalids, who were preferred when allocating the wear and tear areas ( tobacco shop for ordinary soldiers, wholesaling for officers). In addition, impoverished officials were cared for in this way. This monopoly on the one hand weakened the situation of the tobacco farmers, on the other hand it gave them security in times of crisis.

Private cultivation was largely pushed back in the 19th century, the cultivation of farmer's tobacco was only accepted in limited quantities , the poor quality of which was not a threat to the monopoly. Such a formal permit is documented for the farmers of the upper Inn Valley 1848–1860.

  • In 1850 the monopoly of which was Hungarian crown lands expanded, so that the shifted direction and gradually most of their cultivation in these countries with its milder climate.
  • The first directorial cigarettes were rolled in 1864, and with increasing demand, tobacco became the most important colonial import commodity . The second important product during the late monarchy was Virginians .
  • In 1894, the Klagenfurt plant with 605 workers recorded a production of 17.5 million cigars and 33 million cigarettes .
  • In 1898, after five years of construction, the Ottakring tobacco factory , one of the two main tobacco factories in Vienna at the time, was completed.
  • In 1911, a comprehensive ordinance on the occupation, establishment and closure of tobacco wear and tear shops was issued, which was the basis of the monopoly until 1949.
  • In 1913, the tobacco control department had a general directorate in Vienna ( Porzellangasse 51) and 36 factories, 9 of which were in what is now Austria, the others in the crown lands of the monarchy
  • In 1918, as a result of the assignment of territories after the First World War , the tobacco control department lost most of its tobacco growing areas and factories.
  • In 1939, after Austria was annexed to the German Reich, the tobacco control department, which until then had been part of the organization of the Ministry of Finance, was converted into Austria Tabak AG . The sole shareholder was the German Reich, after the Second World War the shares were transferred to the Republic of Austria.

In the immediate post-war period, home-growing flourished again due to the general poverty and the lack of foreign currency ; the cultivation of 25 herbaceous tobacco bushes per person was tolerated.

  • In 1968 the Tobacco Monopoly Act was revised.
  • In 1979, civilly disabled people were included in the group of preferred people for tobacco shops.

Josef "Beppo" Mauhart was a member of the board from 1976 to 1995. Today (as of 2013) the board consists of Hagen von Wedel, Wolfgang Louzek and Richard Wilcock.

With the accession to the EU (1995) cuts were made in the monopoly:

  • The cultivation is subject to the agricultural market regulation of the EU.
  • The production monopoly remained, but lost its importance due to the fall of the import ban and the limited Austrian cultivation area and was finally formally abolished in 2004.
  • The import and wholesale monopoly was lifted.
  • The retail monopoly remained, but was transferred from Austria Tabak to the newly founded Monopolverwaltung GesmbH on June 1, 1996 .


In 1997 the Republic of Austria transferred all shares to Österreichische Industrieholding AG (ÖIAG). On November 5, 1997, ÖIAG sold 49.5% of the shares to institutional and private shareholders. On March 25, 1999, a further 9.4% was sold to institutional investors. Full privatization followed in 2001. Following a public tender in March 2001, the British tobacco company Gallaher Group bought the remaining 41.1% for around € 770 million. An offer was made to the other shareholders for the same price per share (€ 85), which was almost 100% accepted. The Court of Auditors later criticized the privatization in an October 2007 report. The commissioning of the investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston by the ÖIAG was only oral in December 2000 and was only recorded in writing in February 2001. In addition, with 8.16 million euros and 220,000 euros in expenses, the bank ultimately charged a higher fee than the second-ranked bank. According to the auditor, the owner also failed to obtain an appraisal report before the sale. A later sale might have made more sense. It was also criticized that the Supervisory Board was not only not sufficiently informed in advance, but was even deceived about the actual situation. It had also been neglected to wrest further location guarantees from the buyer. According to press reports, however, processing the privatization is difficult because ÖIAG “disposed of some documents for reasons of space” in the course of a move.

In the course of 2005 the cigarette factory in Schwaz was closed and production relocated to Linz and Hainburg an der Donau . The cigar factory in Fürstenfeld , founded in 1796 and at the time the oldest in the world, was also closed . Cigar production was relocated to Wales . The remaining plants in Linz and Hainburg were modernized. The cigarette production rose from 25.4 billion pieces in 2000 to 36.4 billion pieces in 2005. In Hainburg, Österreichische Zigarettenfilter GmbH produced filters for Austria and for export. The building complex of the Linzer Tobacco Factory , which was built between 1928 and 1935 and is partially listed , was sold to the City of Linz.

At the end of 2011, the last Austrian cigarette production, which produced 40% for the domestic market, was closed in Hainburg, although in 2007 the company “clearly committed to production in Austria” and around 40 million euros were invested in the plant. 240 employees in Hainburg lost their jobs, as did 80 employees at the headquarters in Vienna who supported production.

The company's headquarters are now in Vienna (XVI., Koppstrasse 116), where the Tobaccoland sales subsidiary and the Ökolab research and development company are also located. The company currently employs around 500 people in Austria.


In Germany, JTI Deutschland GmbH (formerly Gallaher Germany or Austria Tabak GmbH) is represented. The German branch in Munich, founded in 1923, was closed on December 31, 2007 as a result of the takeover of the Gallaher Group by Japan Tobacco and relocated to the JTI site in Cologne.

A 25.1 percent share is held in Lekkerland AG & Co. KG - food and tobacco products for petrol station shops. When Tobaccoland machines Society mbH & Co. KG is one major shareholder and a market leader in the German cigarette market.

Non-tobacco activities

In the 1990s, the board of directors around CEO Beppo Mauhart agreed to buy the HTM group ( Head with Tyrolia, Mares ), which they soon had to part with.

(Historic) production facilities

  • Fürstenfeld (Styria) - originally in the Pfeilburg ; later in Schloß am Stein , high riveted steel bridge for handcarts over the low-lying Feistritzgasse to the warehouse south of it, connecting railway to Fürstenfeld station used until the 1980s, removed around 2008 - before / around 2001 sold to the Gallaher Group, closed in 2004, last cigars produced - 1776 first tobacco factory in Europe in Schloss am Stein - Pfeilburg is or was also a tobacco museum; Camp was built around 2000 youth hostel in the southeast, around 2016 partial demolition of the management building, apartments, ground floor from April 2018 Medical center (Fabrikgasse) What remains from production around tobacco is the manufacture of cigarette tubes and filter tips by Altesse in the industrial area on Burgauerstraße (Altessestraße 2, in the north of the city, on the plain)
  • Hainburg (Lower Austria) - from 1723 tobacco manufacture, tobacco laboratory, largest factory (from 1935, however: Linz), closed in 2011, (also) cigars - 3 buildings, 2 of them listed, hotel, apartments, depot, culture factory, March-August (also December ?) 2013 Demolition of parts - from 2015 Galleria Danubia shopping center
  • Hallein (Salzburg) - built in 1869, sold to arms production in 1940
  • Klagenfurt (Carinthia) - 1858 orphanage barracks (built in 1759 as a lead factory) in Deutenhofenstrasse 1–3 assigned to the cigar factory, in 1862 the military registered their own use again, sold in 2009, demolished in 2010. Factory in Bahnhofstrasse starts production in 1864, expansion in 1871, 1898, 1904, 1926 and 1931. 1939 or 1940 (partially?) To Wiener Neustädter Flugzeugwerke , destroyed by bombing in 1945, later demolished. Later 3rd location tobacco transhipment warehouse in St. Peter-Straße on the railway ( Viktringer Vorstadt , Reichenbergerstraße)
  • Krems-Stein (Lower Austria) - the inn is expanded in 1850, the cigar factory and in 1852. 1919 / mid-1922 new building, Virginia production. 1988/89 shutdown - "old factory": today Kunsthalle Krems ; "New factory": today Krems University
  • Tabakfabrik Linz (Upper Austria) - construction from 1929, cigarette production until September 2009, 2010 sale to the city of Linz - listed steel frame building, largely preserved, revitalized
  • Schwaz (Tyrol) - built in 1830, closed in 2005, nicknamed Die Tschiggin - demolished around 2015, SZentrum shopping center
  • Vienna (Vienna) - from 1893 Ottakring, Thaliastraße

Outside of today's Austria:

Web links

Commons : Austria Tabak  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Company Austria Tabak GmbH in Vienna . Commercial register data Creditreform /
  3. a b KHG privatizations: Austria Tabak. In: format . July 26, 2010.
  4. ^ Criticism of Austria tobacco sales. In: The Standard . October 25, 2007.
  5. Tobacco Museum - closely linked to tobacco and smoking culture, Museum Pfeilburg Fürstenfeld, website, accessed January 14, 2017.
  6. OTS0319, September 29, 2007/14: 10
  7. ^ ÖGB: "End of a sad chapter" on ORF from May 5, 2011.
  8. ^ Entry on Fürstenfeld: Landesfürstliche Burg, Schloss (am) Stein Austria Tabak in the private database "Alle Burgen". Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  9. ^ Tabakfabrik Hainburg, accessed March 4, 2018.
  10. Kulturfabrik Hainburg , accessed on March 4, 2018.
  11. Austria Tabak - former factory facilities, thread opened January 21, 2013, accessed March 4, 2018.
  12. ^ Demolition of the orphanage barracks in Klagenfurt, February 3, 2010, accessed March 4, 2018.
  13. 70 years of bombing raid on Klagenfurt, January 16, 2014, accessed March 4, 2018.
  14. Austria Tabak - former factory facilities, thread opened January 21, 2013, accessed March 4, 2018.
  15. Friederike Gösweiner: Shopping mall instead of future vision, 2011, accessed March 4, 2018.
  16. ^ Franz Wieser: The kk tobacco factory in Schwaz in Tyrol, digitized January 14, 2014, 1907, accessed March 4, 2018.