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Le recours aux leviers de contrôle:le cas des sociétés cotées françaises

Listed author(s):
  • Sabri Boubaker


    (Université Paris Est, Essec Tunis)

  • Florence Labégorre


    (Université de Lille 1)

(VF)En France, les actions à droit de vote double, les actions sans droit de vote et les participations indirectes, croisées ou pyramidales, permettent de contrôler une société avec un apport minimal en capital. Cet article analyse l’utilisation et l’effet de levier de ces mécanismes sur un échantillon de 560 sociétés cotées françaises en 2000. Les résultats révèlent le recours peu fréquent aux actions sans droit de vote et aux participations croisées. À l’inverse, les trois quarts des sociétés présentent des actions à droit de vote double et un tiers sont contrôlées via une pyramide. Mais au-delà d’un succès commun, actions à droit de vote double et pyramides ne se confondent pas:les actionnaires publics et financiers paraissent préférer les pyramides ; les actionnaires familiaux, les actions à droit de vote double. Les pyramides dissocient les droits aux cash-flows du contrôle de 43% en moyenne et les actions à droit de vote double, de 12%. Les pyramides apparaissent donc comme le levier de con-trôle le plus puissant.(VA)French law authorizes listed companies to use several devices to achieve control with a relatively small fraction of ownership. Double voting shares, non-voting shares, cross holdings, and pyramids are among these devices. We collected data for a sample of 560 French listed firms for the year 2000. This data reveals the rare use of non-voting shares and crossholdings and the widespread use of both double voting shares and pyramids. The latter two devices seem to be substitutes for each other. The extent of their use seems to depend upon the controlling shareholder’s identity. Pyramids are more frequent among stated-owned firms and firms controlled by a widely held financial institution. Double voting shares are more used by family firms. Pyramiding seems to be a device that ensures a large discrepancy between ownership and con-trol, accounting on average for 43% of the excess control, whereas double voting shares account for a difference of merely 12%.

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Article provided by in its journal Revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie.

Volume (Year): 11 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 95-124

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Handle: RePEc:dij:revfcs:v:11:y:2008:i:q3:p:95-124.
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  1. Ariane Chapelle & Ariane Szafarz, 2002. "Ownership and control: dissecting the pyramid," Working Papers CEB 03-002.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Boubaker, Sabri & Labégorre, Florence, 2008. "Ownership structure, corporate governance and analyst following: A study of French listed firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 961-976, June.
  3. Sabri Boubaker, 2007. "Ownership-Control Discrepancy and Firm Value: Evidence from France," Multinational Finance Journal, Multinational Finance Journal, vol. 11(3-4), pages 211-252, September.
  4. Michael L. Lemmon & Karl V. Lins, 2003. "Ownership Structure, Corporate Governance, and Firm Value: Evidence from the East Asian Financial Crisis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1445-1468, August.
  5. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-783, June.
  6. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1999. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 471-517, April.
  7. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Lang, Larry H. P., 2000. "The separation of ownership and control in East Asian Corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 81-112.
  8. Lucian A. Bebchuk & Reinier Kraakman & George Triantis, 2000. "Stock Pyramids, Cross-Ownership, and Dual Class Equity: The Mechanisms and Agency Costs of Separating Control from Cash-Flow Rights," NBER Chapters,in: Concentrated Corporate Ownership, pages 295-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. repec:hrv:faseco:30728046 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. T. Biebuyck & Ariane Chapelle & Ariane Szafarz, 2002. "Les leviers de contrôle des actionnaires majoritaires," Working Papers CEB 03-001.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. repec:hrv:faseco:30747162 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Mitton, Todd, 2002. "A cross-firm analysis of the impact of corporate governance on the East Asian financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 215-241, May.
  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.
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