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Controlling firms through the majority voting rule

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  • Ariane Chapelle
  • Ariane Szafarz

Abstract

Pyramids, cross-ownership, rings and other complex features inducing control tunnelling are frequent in the European and Asian industrial world. Based on the matrix methodology, this paper offers a model for measuring integrated ownership and threshold-based control, applicable to any group of interrelated firms. In line with the theory on pyramidal control, the model avoids the double counting problem and sets the full-control threshold at the conservative - but incontestable - majority level of 50% of the voting shares. Any lower threshold leads to potential inconsistencies and leaves unexplained the observed high level of ownership of many dominant shareholders. Furthermore, the models leads to ultimate shareholders' control ratios consistent with the majority voting rule. Finally, it is applied to the Frère Group, a large European pyramidal holding company known for mastering control leverages.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 05-004.RS.

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Length: 28 p.
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by: Université Libre de Bruxelles, Solvay Business School, Centre Emile Bernheim (CEB)
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:05-004

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Keywords: Majority Voting Rule; Pyramidal Ownership; Corporate Control; Corporate Governance;

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References

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  1. T. Biebuyck & Ariane Chapelle & Ariane Szafarz, 2005. "Les leviers de contrôle des actionnaires majoritaires," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/719, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  7. Bennedsen, Morten & Wolfenzon, Daniel, 2000. "The balance of power in closely held corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 113-139.
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  11. Marco Becht & Fabrizio Barca, 2001. "The control of corporate Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13302, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1999. "A Rent-Protection Theory of Corporate Ownership and Control," NBER Working Papers 7203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Faccio, Mara & Lang, Larry H. P., 2002. "The ultimate ownership of Western European corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 365-395, September.
  14. Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1995. "Block Investment and Partial Benefits of Corporate Control," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 161-85, April.
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  16. Ariane Chapelle, 2001. "Corporate governance en Belgique: l'effet des pyramides," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9933, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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