NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Constraints on Large-Block Shareholders

Clifford G. Holderness, Dennis P. Sheehan

NBER Working Paper No. 6765
Issued in October 1998
NBER Program(s):   CF

Corporate managers who own a majority of the common stock in their company or who represent another firm owning such an interest appear to be less constrained than managers of diffusely held firms, yet their power to harm minority shareholders must be circumscribed by some organizational or legal arrangements. Empirical investigations reveal that boards of directors in majority-owned firms are little different from firms with diffuse stock ownership. Another source of constraints on a majority shareholders -- capital market activity -- also appears to be no different from firms with diffuse ownership. Finally, there is little evidence that new organizational mechanisms have evolved to constrain managers who own large blocks of stock. The frequency and associated wealth effects of reorganizations of majority shareholder firms, however, indicate that the law constrains managerial majority shareholders, both in their day-to-day management and when they redeem the ownership interest of minority shareholders.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w6765

Published: Constraints on Large-Block Shareholders, Clifford Holderness, Dennis P. Sheehan. in Concentrated Corporate Ownership, Morck. 2000

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