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The Control of Corporate Europe$
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Fabrizio Barca and Marco Becht

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199257531.001.0001

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Shareholding Cascades: the Separation of Ownership and Control in Belgium

Shareholding Cascades: the Separation of Ownership and Control in Belgium

(p.71) 3 Shareholding Cascades: the Separation of Ownership and Control in Belgium
The Control of Corporate Europe

Marco Becht (Contributor Webpage)

Ariane Chapelle

Luc Renneboog (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This paper analyses the control of Belgian listed companies. The analysis reveals that control of listed companies in Belgium is highly concentrated. Business groups, holding companies, and voting pacts play an important role in bringing about this concentration. The main characteristics of the Belgian corporate ownership and equity market can be summarized as follows: (1) few, merely 140, Belgian companies are listed on the Brussels stock exchange, (2) there is a high degree of ownership concentration with an average largest direct shareholding of 45%, (3) holding companies, families, and to a lesser extent industrial companies are the main investor categories whose share stakes are concentrated into powerful control blocks through business group structures and voting pacts, (4) control is levered by pyramidal and complex ownership structures, and (5) there is a market for share stakes.

Keywords:   corporate control, corporate governance, corporate ownership

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