Shareholding Cascades: The Separation of Ownership and Control in Belgium

CentER Working Paper No. 1999-96

43 Pages Posted: 11 May 2000

See all articles by Marco Becht

Marco Becht

Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (ULB); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Ariane Chapelle

University College London - Department of Computer Science

Luc Renneboog

Tilburg University - Department of Finance; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 1999

Abstract

This paper analyses the control of Belgian listed companies. The analysis reveals that control of listed companies in Belgium is highly concentrated. Business groups, holding companies, and voting pacts, play an important role in bringing about this concentration. The main characteristics of the Belgian corporate ownership and equity market can be summarised as follows: (i) few - merely 140 - Belgian companies are listed on the Brussels stock exchange, (ii) there is a high degree of ownership concentration with an average largest direct shareholding of 45%, (iii) holding companies and families, and to a lesser extent industrial companies, are the main investor categories whose share stakes are concentrated into powerful control blocks through business group structures and voting pacts, (iv) control is levered by pyramidal and complex ownership structures and (v) there is a market for share stakes.

Keywords: corporate ownership; corporate control; corporate governance

JEL Classification: G34

Suggested Citation

Becht, Marco and Chapelle, Ariane and Renneboog, Luc, Shareholding Cascades: The Separation of Ownership and Control in Belgium (1999). CentER Working Paper No. 1999-96, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=200111 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.200111

Marco Becht

Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (ULB) ( email )

42 Avenue F. D. Roosevelt
1050
Brussels, 1050
Belgium
+32 2 6504466 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.solvay.edu/profile/marcobecht

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

Palace of the Academies
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogstraat
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.global/users/marco-becht

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Ariane Chapelle

University College London - Department of Computer Science ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+44(0)7833453854 (Phone)

Luc Renneboog (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Department of Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Warandelaan 2
5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands
+13 31 466 8210 (Phone)
+13 31 466 2875 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

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