The hundred years since transforming to a joint stock company

10/16/2007
Škoda Auto celebrates a hundred years since transforming its business to a joint stock company. The value of ordinary stock is CZK 2,500,000. Shares are not publically tradeable.
Altogether 12,500 worth 200 crowns each constituted the registered capital of Laurin & Klement in 1907, when the Mladá Boleslav-based car manufacturer, the predecessor to the Czech Republic's largest car manufacturer Škoda Auto, was transformed to a joint stock company. This year Škoda Auto is celebrating a hundred years since registering the business at the Imperial and Royal Commercial Court in Prague on 16 October 1907.

The constituent general meeting was held in early May of 1907. In mid-June the car manufacturer decided to register its business in the Commercial Register under the name of Laurin & Klement, akciová společnost, továrna automobilů v Mladé Boleslavi (Laurin & Klement, Joint-Stock Company, Automobile Factory in Mladá Boleslav).

The Board of Directors was made up of prominent noblemen and entrepreneurs of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy: Prince Erich of Thurn and Taxis, Count Jan Ceschi, Count Filippo Consolati, Count Leopold Kolowrat, Member of Parliament Jindřich Maštalka, solicitor Emil Miřička, Länderbank Prague Director Berthold Steiner and Václav Klement. The Company appointed Prince Erich of Thurn and Taxis as President and Count Jan Ceschi as his deputy, Václav Klement became the Central Director, Václav Laurin was appointed as the Technical Director. CZK 200 per share was the nominal value, the Laurin & Klement share exchange rate was 225 crowns.

The reason for the transformation in 1907 was that the company needed additional capital to extend its manufacturing operations. In the aftermath of World War I, the owners decided to look for a strategic partner - the economic depression of the early nineteen-twenties and a massive fire in 1924 led to a merger with the Pilsen-based Škoda machine works.

In 1945 the company was nationalised. In the early nineteen-nineties, shortly after the fall of the communist regime in former Czechoslovakia, Škoda needed capital to extend its production portfolio again and, just like a few decades earlier, was looking for a strong partner. In 1991 the Company eventually found one – the Volkswagen Group. In the year 2000, the VW Group became the sole owner of Škoda Auto Company.


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