Complex Ownership Structures and Corporate Valuations

Posted: 26 Jun 2008

See all articles by Luc Laeven

Luc Laeven

European Central Bank (ECB); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2008


The bulk of corporate governance theory examines the agency problems that arise from two extreme ownership structures: 100% small shareholders or one large, controlling owner combined with small shareholders. In this paper, we question the empirical validity of this dichotomy. In fact, one-third of publicly listed firms in Europe have multiple large owners, and the market value of firms with multiple blockholders differs from firms with a single large owner and from widely held firms. Moreover, the relationship between corporate valuations and the distribution of cash-flow rights across multiple large owners is consistent with the predictions of recent theoretical models.

Keywords: G32, G34

Suggested Citation

Laeven, Luc A., Complex Ownership Structures and Corporate Valuations (April 2008). Review of Financial Studies, Vol. 21, Issue 2, pp. 579-604, 2008, Available at SSRN: or

Luc A. Laeven (Contact Author)

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

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