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Dual-class shares: has the fight been lost?

old champions
Pair of old and worn boxing gloves hang on the wall
keremberk/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The link between share ownership and voting rights has been weakening for a long time. With dual-class share structures more popular than ever, is the struggle to resist their rise now over?

Some time ago, alongside a tale of a lost puppy that rode the New York subway from 14th to 137th Street for a whole day, an article in the New York Times warned its readers of something fearsome: a ‘New Menace in Corporate Financing’.

The story was prompted by an announcement the previous day by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Its governors were bothered about certain tendencies in modern corporate practice, including: “The creation of two classes of common stock between which the only substantial difference lies in the fact that one class votes while the other class does not.”


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Mark Baker headshot2.jpg
Deputy editor
Mark Baker is deputy editor. Prior to joining Euromoney magazine he was based in Hong Kong as managing editor, Asia, for the Capital Markets Group. He previously edited EuroWeek magazine and was also deputy editor at International Financing Review.