What do you think of creating a “shareholders” field for a company?
The “parent company” field isn’t always legally accurate because a joint-stock company can have multiple shareholders.
However, creating such a new field will require a large amount of work in order to separate minority from majority shareholders.
Another option is using the “owner” field, but right now it accepts only people, not companies.
This is an interesting idea, with the concern being exactly as you mention, that it would require a fair amount of work to get and maintain the data.
I think if it were to be a field, I would suggest maybe it could be called Majority Shareholders and have the definition that is somewhat in line with:
A majority shareholder is a person or entity that owns and controls more than 50% of a company’s outstanding shares.
of Majority Shareholder Definition
Great, I like your idea of a Majority Shareholders field and its definition.
As for minority shareholders, I can propose three following options:
- not indicating them at all because they’re less important
- using “related organisations” or “affiliates” field for these purposes when needed
- creating a special “minority shareholders” field
To my mind, indicating minority shareholders isn’t always crucially important but there are exceptions. For example, if the country’s government controls 30% of a company it won’t be viewed as majority but it’ll still play a significant role in this company’s policy.
Yes, that is a good point that there are sometimes exceptions where there is a minority shareholder that is significant in some way, and it would be good to capture those cases.
I think suggestion 2 (using Related organizations) might work for capturing many of them, like the example of a government you note here.
Otherwise I wonder if other borderline cases are best captured in the unstructured data (ie, the prose on the page or in some cases as a timeline event) rather than in a structured data triple. It might be hard to objectively determine the cases where a minority shareholder should be captured, and in most cases the minority shareholders would not be very valuable and very hard to find publicly and maintain accurately for a Minority shareholders field.
Usually minority shareholders own less than 2% of the company’s shares, respectively, this block should include only majority shareholders owning more than 2% of the company’s shares
No, as a lawyer I can certainly say that a minority shareholder is usually a shareholder that owns less than 50% of the corporation’s shares and, consequently, doesn’t have majority control over the corporation
This is the person who controls the company
In order to exercise complete corporate control, a person needs to own 50%+1 shares of a company. If there is one, every other participant will be considered as a minority shareholder.
It seems that, by the current definition, there can be at most one Majority Shareholder, so making the predicate name plural seems odd.
If it’s about control then it’s the number of votes that counts not the number of shares - since certain classes of share can have more votes (e.g. in Facebook/Meta, Mark Zuckerberg has a special class of share each worth 10 votes, and such dual class structures are becoming more common - see Zuckerberg motivates supervoting stock resistance | Reuters and Multiple Share Classes and Super-Voting Shares )
The definition that says “owns and controls” might be better “owns or controls” since it’s possible for shareholders to sign agreements ceding the voting power of the shares they own to someone else.