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Ownership Structure and Economic Performance in the Largest European Companies

Steen Thomsen and Torben Pedersen
Strategic Management Journal
Vol. 21, No. 6 (Jun., 2000), pp. 689-705
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3094306
Page Count: 17
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Ownership Structure and Economic Performance in the Largest European Companies
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Abstract

The paper examines the impact of ownership structure on company economic performance in 435 of the largest European companies. Controlling for industry, capital structure and nation effects we find a positive effect of ownership concentration on shareholder value (market-to-book value of equity) and profitability (asset returns), but the effect levels off for high ownership shares. Furthermore we propose and support the hypothesis that the identity of large owners-family, bank, institutional investor, government, and other companies-has important implications for corporate strategy and performance. For example, compared to other owner identities, financial investor ownership is found to be associated with higher shareholder value and profitability, but lower sales growth. The effect of ownership concentration is also found to depend on owner identity.

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