The Separation of Ownership and Control: An Analysis of Ultimate Ownership in Western European Corporations
55 Pages Posted: 9 May 2000
Date Written: February 2000
We analyze the ultimate ownership and control of 3,740 corporations in five Western European countries. We document that families are the most pronounced type of controlling shareholders in Western Europe. In fact, they control 43.9 percent of Western European firms. We also document a significant concentration of wealth within a small number of families. We report that, in Western Europe, pyramids and cross-holdings are used to gain control, and hence a significant separation of ownership from control is achieved but not to the benefit of controlling owners.
JEL Classification: G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation