Written by an international team of authors, this book provides the first systematic account of the control of corporate Europe based on voting block data disclosed in accordance with the European Union's Large Holdings Directive (88/627/EEC). The study provides detailed information on the voting control of companies listed on the official markets in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and, as a benchmark
comparison, the United States. The authors record a high concentration of control of corporations in many European countries with single blockholders frequently controlling more than fifty per cent of corporate votes. In contrast, a majority of UK listed companies have no blockholder owning more than ten
per cent of shares, and a majority of US listed companies have no blockholder with more than six per cent of shares. Those chapters devoted to individual countries illustrate how blockholders can use legal devices to leverage their voting power over their cash-flow rights, or how incumbents prevent outsiders from gaining voting control. It is shown that the cultural and linguistic diversity of Europe is (almost) matched by its variety of corporate control arrangements.
Fabrizio Barca is General Director for Development at the Italian Treasury, President of the OECD Territorial Policies Committee, and Director of a Research Programme on Corporate and Public Administration Governance at Siena University.
Marco Becht teaches at the Institute for European Studies, the Solvay Business School, and the Law Faculty of the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. Becht's research focuses on corporate governance and empirical corporate finance. He is a Resident Fellow at ECARES and a Research Associate of CEPR.