The purpose of this paper is to investigate the links between company ownership structure and financial performance in the context of the largest Central European stock market. Using the framework of agency theory, the authors address the question of the expropriation effect by dominant owners and the effect of collusion between shareholders of different types on company performance.Design/methodology/approachThe authors test hypotheses on the relations between ownership concentration and the involvement of different shareholders (state, CEO, industry and financial investors) vs return on assets (ROA). The authors adopt the panel model controlling for endogeneity and sector of operation and analyze the data from the unique sample of 495 Polish non-financial firms listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in years 2005-2014 with a total of 3,203 observations.FindingsThe authors identify a negative correlation between ownership concentration by the majority shareholder and ROA, which corresponds with the expropriation rationale of blockholders. The authors also observe negative effects due to ownership concentration by the second largest shareholder, supporting the notion of collusion. The results show that ownership by industry investors is associated with a higher ROA. Ownership by the CEO, state and financial investors proves to have no statistically significant effect on performance.Originality/valueThe paper further develops the nature of ownership-performance relations in the specific economic context of a post-transition, emerging European stock market, weak external corporate governance mechanisms, insufficient investor protection and significant concentration of share ownership. The results add to the understanding of monitoring vs expropriation effects by large owners and the collusion between different types of shareholders.
Baltic Journal of Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 21, 2017
Keywords: Ownership structure; Corporate governance; Poland; Ownership concentration; Baltic states; Multiple shareholders
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