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Keywords:

  • Dividend policy;
  • privately held companies;
  • business groups;
  • internal capital markets;
  • minority shareholders;
  • Belgium
  • G32;
  • G35

Abstract

This study examines the dividend policies of privately held Belgian companies, differentiating between stand-alone companies and those affiliated with a business group. We find that privately held companies typically do not pay dividends. Compared to public companies, they are less likely to pay dividends and they have lower dividend payouts. Our results also suggest that group companies pay more dividends than stand-alone companies, consistent with the hypothesis that tax-exempt group firms redistribute dividend payments on the group's internal capital market. Group companies pay higher dividends if they have minority shareholders.