• Corporate governance;
  • entrenchment;
  • expropriation;
  • control mechanisms

This paper examines how different control mechanisms relate to one another in the Spanish corporate governance system. We propose a new empirical approach that consists of analysing control mechanisms according to the non-linearity of the value-ownership relation, and emphasising entrenchment and expropriation phenomena. Our evidence contributes to understanding the role played by several control mechanisms in the Spanish corporate governance system, which largely differs from the US one. Our results show that control mechanisms (especially insider ownership, debt and dividends) are used in a complementary way by Spanish firms. Additionally, this complementarity is only observed when the interests of managers and owners converge, but not when there are controlling owners whose interests need not coincide with those of minority shareholders. Therefore, entrenchment and expropriation effects do influence the relationship among control mechanisms.