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Changes in Ownership Concentration in Mass Privatised Firms: evidence from Poland and the Czech Republic

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  • Irena Grosfeld

    (The University of Warsaw)

  • Iraj Hashi

Abstract

We analyse the changes in ownership concentration in firms included in two mass privatisation programmes in Poland and the Czech Republic. We find that despite important differences in the design of the two privatisation schemes and despite different quality of regulatory environments, the ownership structure emerging 4-5 years after the initial distribution of assets is remarkably similar in the two countries. Ownership concentration defined as the share of the largest equity holder has significantly increased. Exploring the determinants of ownership concentration, we check whether such revealed preference for higher participation in firm equity does not hide different motivations and behaviour of investors. Our results reveal interesting differences between the two countries: in the Czech Republic the increase in ownership concentration was less likely in poorly performing firms, while in Poland the quality of past performance did not affect investors' willingness to increase their holdings. This contrasting result may reflect the difference in the quality of laws and regulations in Poland and in the Czech Republic. In the Czech Republic, where tunnelling was a common practice in the period covered by our study, shareholders increasing their stakes in a company could have been motivated by the objective of extracting value rather than by the willingness to impose a specific direction on the way the firm is managed. This might explain why they prefer to increase their control in those companies which perform well rather than those that perform poorly. Copyright (c) 2007 The Authors; Journal compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Irena Grosfeld & Iraj Hashi, 2007. "Changes in Ownership Concentration in Mass Privatised Firms: evidence from Poland and the Czech Republic," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 520-534, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:15:y:2007:i:4:p:520-534
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    1. repec:eee:ecosys:v:41:y:2017:i:4:p:537-568 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Iwasaki, Ichiro & Kočenda, Evžen, 2017. "Are some owners better than others in Czech privatized firms? Even meta-analysis can’t make us perfectly sure," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 537-568.
    3. Farhad Shahveisi & Farshid Khairollahi & Mohammad Alipour, 2017. "Does ownership structure matter for corporate intellectual capital performance? An empirical test in the Iranian context," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 7(1), pages 67-91, April.
    4. Bersant Hobdari & Aleksandra Gregoric & Evis Sinani, 2011. "The role of firm ownership on internationalization: evidence from two transition economies," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 15(3), pages 393-413, August.
    5. Abdallah, Abed Al-Nasser & Ismail, Ahmad K., 2017. "Corporate governance practices, ownership structure, and corporate performance in the GCC countries," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 98-115.
    6. Sprenger, Carsten, 2011. "The choice of ownership structure: Evidence from Russian mass privatization," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 260-277, June.
    7. Cabeza-García, Laura & Gómez-Ansón, Silvia, 2011. "Post-privatisation ownership concentration: Determinants and influence on firm efficiency," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 412-430, September.
    8. Aleksandra Gregoric & Arjana Brezigar Masten & Katarina Zajc, 2011. "From Social to Private Ownership: Multiple Blockholders in Slovenian Unlisted Firms," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(5), pages 27-51, September.
    9. Zorica Kalezić, 2015. "Ownership Concentration and Firm Performance in Transition Economies: Evidence from Montenegro," Journal of Central Banking Theory and Practice, Central bank of Montenegro, vol. 4(3), pages 5-64.
    10. Buchen, Clemens, 2010. "Emerging economic systems in Central and Eastern Europe – a qualitative and quantitative assessment," EconStor Theses, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 37141.
    11. Dorota Dobija, 2015. "Exploring audit committee practices: oversight of financial reporting and external auditors in Poland," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 19(1), pages 113-143, February.
    12. Dolgopyatova, T., 2010. "Concentration of Ownership in Russian Industry: Firm-Level Evolution," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 8, pages 80-99.
    13. Aleksandra Gregoric & Arjana Brezigar Masten & Katarina Zajc, 2011. "From Social to Private Ownership: Multiple Blockholders in Slovenian Unlisted Firms," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(5), pages 27-51, September.

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