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Written by Jacky Chou

What Is a Holding Company?

A holding company is a type of multinational corporation that acts like an umbrella organization for many individual subsidiaries. The term comes from the use of “holding” in share ownership, which refers to the multiple shares held by members of a public limited liability company and their right to vote on corporate matters.

A holding company is a corporation that owns shares in other corporations. These companies are also referred to as “subsidiaries”. The parent company of the subsidiary is called the “holding company.” Examples of holding companies include Berkshire Hathaway, General Electric, and Procter & Gamble. Read more in detail here: holding company examples.

  • It allows individual investors to combine their funds for future opportunities.
  • It is a means for bigger corporations to reduce risk.

It’s important to understand the similarities between the two, as well as the differences between them and why both are employed.  

A holding company (or parent company) provides most investors and real estate investment groups with the ability to invest in a broad range of assets, including smaller holdings in businesses.  

Let’s pretend you’re a member of a rich family that has decided to combine their money and invest it. After that, you decide to form a holding company by completing all of the relevant papers with the Secretary of State. After you’ve filed your holding company with the state, you’ll need to hire an attorney to draft a management contract. It might cost anything from a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars to do all of this.  

Assume the family consists of around ten individuals, each of whom pays a $1 million check to the new parent or holding firm’s bank account in order to acquire 10% of the business. This is how the new holding company’s financial sheet will appear after all of the donations have been collected:

  • $10 million in assets
  • There are no liabilities. 
  • $10 million in member equity (book value)

Let’s imagine you want to put that $10 million into something that might rise to a net value of $500 million over time. The issue is, how would you go about doing this without putting yourself in danger? 

Let’s put aside all the minor details in order to do so. Here’s an oversimplified example to help you understand what a holding company is and how it works. 

This is when structural leverage enters the picture. Let’s return to the hypothetical circumstance from before. Let’s say the family decides to build a six-million-dollar structure, but they only want to invest one million dollars of their own money and then receive a management fee. They form a new business and invest one million dollars, as well as design a management agreement that allows additional investors to purchase two-thirds of the firm for two million dollars. The bank may then provide three million dollars in loan financing. The agreement stipulates that 5% of rental costs be given to another firm, which is a newly established subsidiary of the parent corporation.

When you look at it, the family is controlling a six-million-dollar building with just 10% of its assets. In addition to the 5% leasing cost, they will get 33.33 percent ownership. They essentially have a 6-to-1 leverage with a minor debt. They might then begin investing in additional prospects by purchasing stocks, acquiring tiny shares in enterprises, and forming new businesses. They may also use the capital reserve to hire a mutual fund manager and make millions of dollars in modest investments.

As a result, the family may now manage hundreds of millions of dollars in assets with very little risk and a very little investment.

A holding company is a corporation that owns the majority of shares in another company. They are typically used to avoid tax liability and to increase liquidity. Reference: advantages of holding company.

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