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Control in pyramidal structures

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  • Marc Lévy

Abstract

Today, the shareholding structure of companies is sometimes so complex that it can be difficult to find back their actual owners and controllers. In particular, in continental Europe and in Asia, control tunnelling appears frequently through pyramidal structure. After describing the ownership structure through a graph association, this paper analyses the voting game at stake in the race for control. It compares existing methods and algorithms to identify the owners and controllers of a firm in a pyramidal structure without cross-ownership. As a real life example, the case of the Belgian retail company, Colruyt, is used to apply these different methods and compare their results. Furthermore, it shows how the ownership structure allows to the Colruyt family to keep the control of Colruyt even if there are discordances inside the family.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Lévy, 2007. "Control in pyramidal structures," DULBEA Working Papers 07-08.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:07-08rs
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ariane Chapelle, 2001. "Corporate governance en Belgique: l'effet des pyramides," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9933, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Lucian Bebchuk & Reinier Kraakman & George Triantis, 1999. "Stock Pyramids, Cross-Ownership, and the Dual Class Equity: The Creation and Agency Costs of Seperating Control from Cash Flow Rights," NBER Working Papers 6951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Chung, Kee H. & Kim, Jeong-Kuk, 1999. "Corporate ownership and the value of a vote in an emerging market," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 35-54, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Ariane Chapelle & Ariane Szafarz, 2006. "Control consolidation with a threshold: an algorithm," Working Papers CEB 06-007.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Chapelle, Ariane & Szafarz, Ariane, 2005. "Controlling firms through the majority voting rule," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 355(2), pages 509-529.
    8. Cheung, Yan-Leung & Stouraitis, Aris & Wong, Anita W.S., 2005. "Ownership concentration and executive compensation in closely held firms: Evidence from Hong Kong," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 511-532, September.
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    12. 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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    15. Flath, David, 1992. "Indirect shareholding within Japan's business groups," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 223-227, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ownership; Corporate Governance; Control; Banzhaf Index;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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