A Complement to Multidivisional Enterprises
This chapter discusses business groups within the context of the development of large enterprises in France. The latter have predominantly taken the form of holding companies (usually called groupes) akin to hierarchical-type business groups, undiversified or with related diversification, often of a pyramidal type. Another, more recent feature of French big business has been the continuous spread of the multidivisional structure since the 1960s. Diversified business groups have formed a small but not insignificant part of French big business. While only bank-centered business groups existed before the First World War, family-owned groups have been a persistent though minority component of French big business since the 1920s. State-owned business groups have never properly featured in France, nor have conglomerates in the 1960s and 1970s or private equity since the 1980s.
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