Definition

parent company (holding company)

Part of the Business terms glossary:

A parent company, sometimes called a holding company, is a corporation that has subsidiaries, which are wholly or partially-owned separate businesses controlled by the parent. Although corporate law varies from one country to another, a parent company usually must have at least 50% of a subsidiary's voting stock for control of operations and management. A wholly-owned subsidiary is one in which the parent owns 100% of the stock. 

Parent companies with subsidiaries are one type of conglomerate, which is a company comprising multiple different businesses. 

This was last updated in March 2013
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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