Ownership and Voting Power in France

Laurence Bloch and Elizabeth Kremp

in The Control of Corporate Europe

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780199257539
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191595905 | DOI:
 Ownership and Voting Power in France

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This paper provides an overview of ownership structure and voting power in France, both in terms of institutional and legal framework, and of quantitative analysis. If cross share holdings in large groups were a characteristic of the French model called ‘financial core’, and had been extended in 1986 with the first wave of privatizations, the foundations of this model seem to be weakened. This organization has not been able to really prevent the increase of foreign presence in French capitalization. Looking at listed firms and CAC40 firms, and at a large dataset of unlisted firms, this paper shows that concentration of direct ownership and voting power is very high in France even for listed and CAC40 firms. The second direct owner lags far behind the first one and the category ‘families’ plays a major role in the detention of non‐listed firms. The average ownership stakes of banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions are relatively low, except for CAC40 firms.

Keywords: block shareholdings in France; listed and unlisted firms; ownership; shareholder voting power

Chapter.  8072 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Financial Markets

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