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A holding company is a purely financial concern which uses its capital solely to acquire interests (normally controlling interests) in a number of operating companies.

Although the purpose of a holding company is mainly to gain control and not to operate, it will typically have representation on the boards of directors of the operating firms.

Holding companies provide a means by which corporate control can become highly concentrated through pyramiding. A holding company may gain control over an operating company which itself has several subsidiaries.

Source Publication:
Glossary of Industrial Organisation Economics and Competition Law, compiled by R. S. Khemani and D. M. Shapiro, commissioned by the Directorate for Financial, Fiscal and Enterprise Affairs, OECD, 1993.


Statistical Theme: Financial statistics

Created on Thursday, January 3, 2002

Last updated on Wednesday, March 5, 2003