1918: BMW Becomes a Joint Stock Company

1918: BMW Becomes a Joint Stock Company
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/BMW Headquarters in Munich. The towers and museum are visible in the back right

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 13 August 1918
  • One-third of all BMW shares were owned by Camillo Castiglioni, a Viennese financier born in Trieste and one of the wealthiest people in Central Europe at the time of World War I.

On this day in 1918, the BMW company was registered as a joint stock company. The abbreviation BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works).

The company was founded back in 1916, as BMW GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung – limited liability company).

It was only on this day in 1918 that the company became known as BMW AG (Aktiengesellschaft – joint stock company).

It is interesting to note who were the major shareholders of BMW at the time it was organized into a joint stock company.

The total value of its shares was around 12 million Reichsmarks. The Bavarian Bank (Bayerische Bank) and North German Bank (Norddeutsche Bank) each owned one-sixth of the total shares. One-third were owned by Fritz Neumeyer, a wealthy businessman from the Bavarian city of Nuremberg.

Finally, the last third were owned by Camillo Castiglioni, a Viennese financier born in Trieste and one of the wealthiest people in Central Europe at the time of World War I.

He was born in Trieste as the son of a rabbi, and held shares in the automobile and aviation industries, in financial service companies, and many other economic activities throught Central Europe.

 

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