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This website is the visible part of the data base on share ownership of Walloon companies which CRISP has been maintaining for several decades. It lists all the commercial enterprises located in Wallonia. For each company, it provides the general public with identifying information (VAT number, address, legal form etc.), financial data and information available on their share ownership.

The originality of the information collected by CRISP is that it indicates with which business groups they are affiliated and therefore identifies the real decision-making centres which control these companies.

For more information, please consult the following sections:

Business Groups and Share Ownership

Business Groups are groups of companies that report to the same decision-making centre, often consisting of a single parent company (generally a holding company), or sometimes two or more. Even more so than companies, business groups represent the ultimate form of economic power and the real place where economic decisions are taken. In line with the development of financial engineering, globalisation and the concentration of capital, they constitute groups whose size in terms of employment and weight in economic terms can reach significant levels. Most of them reach turnover levels which exceed the GDP of a number of countries. Their economic power gives them, by their very nature, real influence within their own sphere of activity (relating, for example, to the determination of price levels, their negotiating power in supplier relationships etc.) but also in the political sphere. It is precisely this influencing power which has made CRISP, since its creation in 1958, study business groups as a key player in political decision-making.

The study of business groups inevitably involves the identification of the companies’ share ownership and of the groups (parent companies) upon which they depend. In that respect, CRISP’s Economics Unit, with the financial support of the Walloon regional government, carries out the meticulous task of collecting data on share ownership of Walloon companies. The tangible result of this work is the establishment of a permanent directory on share ownership of Walloon companies.

Database Content

CRISP’s database includes all the commercial companies active in Wallonia that publish accounts and employ at least the equivalent of one full-time person. “Commercial companies active in Wallonia” implies, on the one hand, companies located in Wallonia – in other words, those whose headquarters are located in the Walloon region – and, on the other hand, companies whose headquarters are situated outside Wallonia (in Brussels, in Flanders or abroad) but who have one or more sites in Wallonia. The main financial results of these companies are monitored regularly (capital, turnover, total assets, net income, fixed assets etc.).

The database also includes, as far as possible, the Belgian companies connected to them and their known shareholders. The shareholder research prioritises companies which satisfy at least one of the following size criteria: employment of the equivalent of 20 full-time employees, total assets or turnover of 2.5 million Euros, subscribed capital amounting to 500,000 Euros. For smaller companies, the shareholder research is less systematic. The subsidiaries of foreign companies located in Wallonia are also included in the database. Companies that have gone into liquidation, are bankrupt or have been placed under court protection are, however, excluded.

The originality of the information collected by CRISP is that it reveals to which business groups the companies in question belong. The decision-making centre influencing the companies of the group regularly consists of one parent company (often a holding company) and sometimes two or more. The parent company’s nationality, (or, as the case may be, that of its family shareholders), determines that of the group and corresponds to the place where economic decisions are really taken. Depending on the availability of the data, the nationality of the decision-making centres is therefore investigated systematically.

Data Sources and Methodology

CRISP’s database derives its value from the “tailor-made” verification work, the decoding and analysis of financial links between companies located in Wallonia and their shareholders. The act of adding to and updating the database includes the encoding and control of data relating to the companies and groups, including descriptive and financial data.

The information stored in the CRISP database results from the systematic and constant study of different sources, including:

  • The annual accounts declared by companies to Belgium’s National Bank (BNB);
  • The “BelFirst” database edited by Bureau Van Dijk;
  • The ”banque-carrefour des entreprises” database;
  • Company annual reports;
  • Company and business group websites;
  • Holding declarations (following the law of 2 March 1989) of listed companies;
  • The appendices of the Moniteur belge, published by the Belgian Federal Public Service, relating to commercial companies;
  • The general and specialised press etc.

Most of the financial data is updated automatically from the “BelFirst” database. Banks and insurance companies, which publish their balance sheets in a particular way and so do not present their turnover according to the principles of general accounting practice, receive different treatment. To ensure data comparability in the database, the turnover is, in the case of the banks, considered to be equivalent to the sum of the “Interest and Similar Income” (item 40.100) and “Commission Income” (item 40.400). With insurance companies, it corresponds to the sum of the “Net Reinsurance Premiums” (items 710 and 720) and “Other Net Reinsurance Products” (items 714 and 724).