The Ultimate Ownership of Western European Corporations
40 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2001
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: Suggested Citation