Corporation that owns enough voting stock in one or more other companies to exercise control over them. A holding company provides a means of concentrating control of several companies with a minimum of investment; other means of gaining control, such as mergers or consolidations, are more complicated legally and more expensive. A holding company can reap the benefits of a subsidiary's goodwill and reputation while limiting its liability to the proportion of the subsidiary's stock that it owns. The parent company in a conglomerate corporation is usually a holding company.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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