The Ultimate Ownership of Western European Corporations

40 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2001  

Mara Faccio

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management; University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); National University of Singapore (NUS) - Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER)

Larry H.P. Lang

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Finance

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Abstract

We analyze the ultimate ownership and control of 5,232 corporations in 13 Western European countries. Firms are typically widely held (36.93 percent) or family controlled (44.29 percent). Widely-held firms are more important in the U.K. and Ireland, family-controlled firms in continental Europe. Financial and large firms are more likely to be widely-held, while non-financial and small firms are more likely to be family-controlled. State control is important for larger firms in certain countries. Dual class shares and pyramids are used to enhance the control of the largest shareholders, but overall there are significant discrepancies between ownership and control in only a few countries.

Keywords: Ownership, Corporate Governance

JEL Classification: G3

Suggested Citation

Faccio, Mara and Lang, Larry H.P., The Ultimate Ownership of Western European Corporations. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=286053 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.286053

Mara Faccio (Contact Author)

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management ( email )

1310 Krannert Building
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER) ( email )

BIZ 2 Storey 4, 04-05
1 Business Link
Singapore, 117592
Singapore

Hsien Ping Larry Lang

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Finance ( email )

Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong
+85 2 2609 7761 (Phone)
+85 2 2603 6586 (Fax)

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