Interlocking Directorships and Cross-Shareholdings Among Italian Blue Chips

Drago, Carlo; Manestra, Stefano; Santella, Paolo
December 2011
European Business Organization Law Review;Dec2011, Vol. 12 Issue 4, p619
Academic Journal
We contribute to the literature on cross-shareholdings and board interlocks in Italy which finds possible evidence of enlarged collusion, that is, collusion established through board interlocks among companies that do not necessarily operate in the same business sector. We focus on Italian blue chips (about 80% of total market capitalisation) in 1998 and in 2008, examining the entire network of cross-shareholdings higher than 2% of total voting rights which we compare to the entire network of interlocking directorates among these blue chips. We find that in 1998 enlarged collusion only takes place among those blue chips that are also linked by cross-shareholdings (Mediobanca Galaxy), which reinforces the hypothesis that in Italy this form of collusion is functional to shareholder expropriation. In addition, we find that in 2008 new shareholders appear at the top of the Galaxy and the Galaxy extends its reach through board interlockers to the rest of the blue chips.


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