Movie Case Study
In this particular scene, Shakun (played by Saif Ali Khan) seems to have ownership of over 19% of the shares still does not give him the right to control the company. Although the cunning strategy that he plays with another shareholder is possible. Do you think controlling the company is possible with just 19% shareholding?
In this blog, Learning Perspectives will explore the meaning of majority shareholding.
What is Majority Shareholding?
Majority shareholding means any person or company holding 50% of the voting shares of the company.
Someone who has majority shareholding is either the founder or descendant of the owner of the business. A majority shareholder would have more power than all the shareholders combined. In India, shareholders have a say in the appointment and reappointment of the board of directors.
When a majority shareholder himself is not a director and he nominates someone, it is obvious that the majority shareholder must have prior information to make an informed decision to advise his/her nominee director to make the right call. This point was held in the Ratan Tata case involving Cyrus Mistry.
If a company has 10,000 shares and if one owes 5001 shares, has approximately 50.1% (5001/10,000), that is the controlling interest would be any person who owns 50% of all shares plus one share.
Although controlling the company with less shareholding might be possible when the share structure of the company is different. It seems Shakun Kothari (Saif Ali Khan) has voting rights of 50% or above which implies that he can run the company too. Share structure can have different classes such as A, B, and C. These shares would have different voting rights, rates of dividend, convertibility, etc. Enabling a shareholder with less holding to run the company.
This is similar to Meta (previously Facebook), Mark Zuckerberg holds close to a 12.5% stake in the entire company. He has veto rights to run the company as he is the founder. A company needs funds from outside and they don’t want founders to lose control of the company. Meta has 2 classes of shares. Class A share is held by everyday investors granting 1 vote per share while Class B shares have 10 votes per share. Mark Zuckerberg holds the majority of class B shares. This gives him 58% of the total voting power hence giving him control of the company.
Warren Buffet, one of the richest people in the world owns 16% of Berkshire Hathway’s (Market cap: $456.4 billion) stock. He has 32% of Berkshire’s voting power.