Proprieta', controllo e trasferimenti nelle imprese italiane. Cosa e' cambiato nel decennio 1993-2003?
This paper analyzes the results of two surveys conducted by the Bank of Italy in 2003, respectively among 1,900 and 500 Italian firms, on ownership structures, control and control transfers of non-listed firms, building upon similar surveys carried on in 1993. The aim of the research is to assess the degree and the directions of changes in control patterns of industrial firms in Italy. The data show that ownership concentration, as measured by various indicators, is high and that direct family control of firms is prevalent. Separation between ownership and control is limited. Financial institutions (including private equity) rarely own capital stakes or play a role in controlling non-financial firms. Ownership of a firm by another firm is widespread, especially for bigger firms; ultimate owners are usually families. Foreign ownership and control of Italian firms is growing. Overall, relatively small changes in the patterns of ownership and control have occurred over the decade (1993-2003). The market for corporate control has not developed significantly; it remains based on personal contacts. Financial institutions do not play a relevant role in it; transactions are usually mediated by legal and accounting professionals. Many firms will deal with generational transfers of control in the near future.
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