Published 03 March 2014

Survey of changes in company ownership

– development and documentation of underlying data

The Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis, Growth Analysis, was commissioned by the government to map and analyse changes in company ownership. The commission also included making comparisons between generation changes and other kinds of change in ownership that are not age-related and analyse the possibility to follow up companies’ ownership changes and dynamics over time.

In October 2013, Growth Analysis submitted an interim report comprising both a survey of the age structure in the country’s companies and an in-depth analysis of ownership changes. The present report covers the final part of the commission, i.e. further development of the documentation of underlying data to identify changes in ownership.

Growth Analysis commissioned Statistics Sweden to investigate whether it would be possible to better identify changes in ownership by integrating and checking for matches in the complementary data concerning part-owners in close companies that can be obtained from the Tax Agency with existing information about company dynamics, which can be found in the Company and Workplace Dynamics register and the register-based labour market statistics at Statistics Sweden. In order to accomplish this, a study was made of the companies’ ownership changes between 2010 and 2011. The commission also includes describing the purpose, methodology and content of the Company and Workplace Dynamics register.

Some 80 per cent of all companies survived between 2010 and 2011 regardless of the type of company. The remainder underwent some kind of change. Companies close and new ones start up as part of the structural change.   e also see that many companies and workplaces change owners. Trade and industry shows significant dynamics and this covers many different kinds of change.

The processing of the data shows that by using Statistics Sweden’s and the Tax Agency’s registers, it is possible to adequately monitor and compile information about changes in company ownership. This applies to both close companies, where it is possible to follow individual ownership, and other corporate entities where changes in corporate identity number, which is an indication of new ownership circumstances, can be traced. The analysis shows that the Tax Agency’s registers complement Statistics Sweden’s registers well and provide additional information. The linking and matching of the data yields more information than can be obtained from each source separately. It is also possible to link in other information about employees, turnover and various measures of profitability from other registers.

Growth Analysis’ recommendation is therefore that Statistics Sweden should be given access to the Tax Agency’s registers concerning shares of ownership for a longer period than merely the years studied. This is to be able to compile a database that enables better and more exact analyses of various dimensions of dynamics in trade and industry and ownership changes to be made. It would also be desirable for this database to be made accessible for research and studies that increase knowledge of different dimensions of structural change in trade and industry.

Title
Survey of changes in company ownership – development and documentation of underlying data

Serial number
PM 2014:06

Reference number
2013/193

Download the report in SwedishPDF