Spending Less Time with the Family: The Decline of Family Ownership in the UK
AbstractFamily ownership was rapidly diluted in the twentieth century in Britain. Issuance of equity in the process of acquisitions was the main cause. In the first half of the century, it occurred in the absence of minority investor protection and relied on directors of target firms protecting the interests of shareholders. Families were able to retain control by occupying a disproportionate number of seats on the boards of firms. However, in the absence of large stakes, the rise of hostile takeovers and institutional shareholders made it increasingly difficult for families to maintain control without challenge. Potential targets attempted to protect themselves through dual class shares and strategic share blocks but these were dismantled in response to opposition by institutional shareholders and the London Stock Exchange. The result was a regulated market in corporate control and a capital market that looked very different from its European counterparts. Thus, while acquisitions facilitated the growth of family controlled firms in the first half of the century, they also diluted their ownership and ultimately their control in the second half.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Oxford Financial Research Centre in its series OFRC Working Papers Series with number 2003fe15.
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Julian Franks & Colin Mayer & Stefano Rossi, 2004. "Spending Less Time with the Family: The Decline of Family Ownership in the UK," NBER Working Papers 10628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2003-11-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2003-11-16 (European Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2003-11-16 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
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