To get a sense of who is truly in control of Koninklijke Vopak N.V. (AMS:VPK), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. We can see that private equity firms own the lion’s share in the company with 48% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).
Meanwhile, individual investors make up 27% of the company’s shareholders.
Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner of Koninklijke Vopak, beginning with the chart below.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Koninklijke Vopak?
Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.
We can see that Koninklijke Vopak does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company’s stock. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can’t rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Koninklijke Vopak’s historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.
Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Koninklijke Vopak. The company’s largest shareholder is HAL Investments B.V., with ownership of 48%. The second and third largest shareholders are Sprucegrove Investment Management Ltd and Maple-Brown Abbott, with an equal amount of shares to their name at 3.0%.
A more detailed study of the shareholder registry showed us that 2 of the top shareholders have a considerable amount of ownership in the company, via their 51% stake.
Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock’s expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. While there is some analyst coverage, the company is probably not widely covered. So it could gain more attention, down the track.
Insider Ownership Of Koninklijke Vopak
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.
We can see that insiders own shares in Koninklijke Vopak N.V.. This is a big company, so it is good to see this level of alignment. Insiders own €114m worth of shares (at current prices). Most would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. Still, it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 27% stake in Koninklijke Vopak. 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
With a stake of 48%, private equity firms could influence the Koninklijke Vopak board. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and — as the name suggests — don’t invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 3 warning signs with Koninklijke Vopak (at least 1 which can’t be ignored) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.
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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.