Stock Analysis

Unibel S.A.'s (EPA:UNBL) 6.3% gain last week benefited both private companies who own 53% as well as insiders

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Key Insights

  • Unibel's significant private companies ownership suggests that the key decisions are influenced by shareholders from the larger public
  • The top 2 shareholders own 59% of the company
  • Insider ownership in Unibel is 27%

To get a sense of who is truly in control of Unibel S.A. (EPA:UNBL), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 53% to be precise, is private companies. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

Private companies gained the most after market cap touched €2.1b last week, while insiders who own 27% also benefitted.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Unibel.

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ENXTPA:UNBL Ownership Breakdown December 8th 2023

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Unibel?

We don't tend to see institutional investors holding stock of companies that are very risky, thinly traded, or very small. Though we do sometimes see large companies without institutions on the register, it's not particularly common.

There could be various reasons why no institutions own shares in a company. Typically, small, newly listed companies don't attract much attention from fund managers, because it would not be possible for large fund managers to build a meaningful position in the company. It is also possible that fund managers don't own the stock because they aren't convinced it will perform well. Unibel might not have the sort of past performance institutions are looking for, or perhaps they simply have not studied the business closely.

ENXTPA:UNBL Earnings and Revenue Growth December 8th 2023

Hedge funds don't have many shares in Unibel. Comptoir Général des Fromagers Français is currently the company's largest shareholder with 32% of shares outstanding. Antoine Fievet is the second largest shareholder owning 27% of common stock, and Les Cinéastes Animaliers Associés holds about 11% of the company stock. Antoine Fievet, who is the second-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Member of Management Board.

To make our study more interesting, we found that the top 2 shareholders have a majority ownership in the company, meaning that they are powerful enough to influence the decisions of the company.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. Our information suggests that there isn't any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of Unibel

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Unibel S.A.. It has a market capitalization of just €2.1b, and insiders have €580m worth of shares in their own names. That's quite significant. Most would say this shows a good degree of alignment with shareholders, especially in a company of this size. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 12% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Unibel. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 7.8% stake in Unibel. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Some investors might be encouraged by this, since private equity are sometimes able to encourage strategies that help the market see the value in the company. Alternatively, those holders might be exiting the investment after taking it public.

Private Company Ownership

It seems that Private Companies own 53%, of the Unibel stock. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Unibel that you should be aware of.

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

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