Majority Shareholder

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DEFINITION of 'Majority Shareholder'

A person or entity that owns more than 50% of a company's outstanding shares. The majority shareholder is often the founder of the company, or in the case of long-established businesses, the founder's descendants. By virtue of controlling more than half of the voting interests in the company, the majority shareholder has a very significant influence in the business operations and strategic direction of the company.

BREAKING DOWN 'Majority Shareholder'

Majority shareholders differ in their approach to how the company is managed. While some continue to be heavily involved in the daily operations of the company, others may prefer to take a hands-off approach and leave the management of the company to the executives and managers.


Majority shareholders who wish to exit their business, or dilute their position, may make overtures to their competition or private equity firms, with the objective of getting a good price for their stake. Since the majority shareholder usually has an iron grip on the fortunes of the company, a hostile bid for it is generally out of the question.

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