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Controlling firms through the majority voting rule

  • Ariane Chapelle
  • Ariane Szafarz

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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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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