The Effect of Shareholder Turnout on Voting Rights and Separation

23 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2020 Last revised: 24 Mar 2020

See all articles by Øyvind Bøhren

Øyvind Bøhren

BI Norwegian Business School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Sebastian Christophersen

Norsk Gjenvinning AS

Simen Lerfaldet

Statkraft AS

Date Written: March 22, 2020

Abstract

We find that shareholder turnout at the general meeting of Norwegian public firms varies between 11% and 95%, being 59% on average. This turnout behavior implies that majority control requires less than one third of the average firm’s shares, and that attending shareholders vote for 1.7 times the shares they own. Turnout is higher when the largest shareholder is foreign, the firm is small, the debt is low, and option compensation is on the agenda. This evidence suggests that shareholders consider the general meeting a more important monitoring device the more serious the potential conflicts of interest in the firm.

Keywords: voting, general meeting, shareholder turnout, voter presence, voting rights, cash flow rights, control rights, separation

JEL Classification: G32, G34

Suggested Citation

Bøhren, Øyvind and Christophersen, Sebastian and Lerfaldet, Simen, The Effect of Shareholder Turnout on Voting Rights and Separation (March 22, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3555404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3555404

Øyvind Bøhren (Contact Author)

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway
46410503 (Phone)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

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

Sebastian Christophersen

Norsk Gjenvinning AS

Simen Lerfaldet

Statkraft AS

Oslo
Norway

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