Ownership Structure and Economic Performance in the Largest European Companies

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    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalStrategic Management Journal
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)689-705
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • Ownership structure
    • Performance
    • Europe

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