Ownership and Voting Power in France
Social Science Research Network
The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors, and not necessary those of the institutions to whom they belong to. The authors thank M.Mourant from SBF who made available to them the CAC 40 notifications and M.Davydoff from SBF, M. Champarnaud from COB and M.Thollon Pommerol from Insee for their advice in gathering information. Claude Truy from the Bank of France gave very valuable research assistance and perspicacity in putting together the information on financial
... ancial institutions. SUMMARY This paper provides an overview on 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 increasing 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.