minority interest

Minority interest is a financial concept that refers to the ownership of a company’s stock by shareholders who do not have control over the company. In other words, it refers to the portion of a company’s equity that is owned by investors who are not part of the company’s management or controlling group. Minority interest is an important concept in accounting, as it provides information about the ownership structure of a company and the rights and obligations of the various shareholders.

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What is Minority Interest?

A minority interest, also called a non-controlling interest (NCI), is the percentage of a subsidiary owned by shareholders other than the parent company. It refers to a company or stock not owned by the parent company. Majority interests typically represent over 50% of the company’s equity, while minority interests typically range between 20% and 30%. The interests in subsidiaries are listed in the equity section of the consolidated balance sheet of parent companies. It is also reported on the consolidated income statement as a share of profits belonging to minority shareholders.

In parent companies, generally, the majority stakeholders have voting rights to set policies and procedures. However, minorities have  very little influence on the company’s decision making. Minorities may have certain rights, such as participation in sales, entitle to certain audit rights, and also may be able to attend shareholder or partnership meetings.

Types of Minority Interest

There are two types of minority interest: active and passive.

Active Minority Interest 

Active minority interest occurs when the minority shareholders are involved in the company’s management and decision-making process as they hold 21 to 49% equity of subsidiary company. This type of minority interest is often associated with a minority shareholder who has a significant level of ownership in the company, but not enough to have control over its operations.

Passive Minority Interest

On the other hand, this refers to minority shareholders who do not have any involvement in the company’s management and decision-making process because they hold less than 20% equity in a subsidary company. These shareholders are considered to be passive because they do not have any influence over the company’s operations. Passive interest is often associated with shareholders who have a small level of ownership in the company and do not have any significant impact on its operations.


Factors Influencing Minority Interest

There are several factors that can influence the level of a interest of minorities in a company. These can include :

  • The size and stability of the company. 
  • The performance and growth prospects of the industry in which the company operates.
  •  The effectiveness of the company’s management, and the level of control and influence that minority shareholders have over the company’s decision-making. 
  • Additionally, the level may be also influenced by broader economic and market conditions, as well as any legal or regulatory considerations that apply to the company.

Importance Of Minority Interest

  • The importance of minority interest lies in its ability to provide protection and representation for minority shareholders, facilitate the raising of capital for growth and expansion, and promote good corporate governance.
  • The interest can provide protection for minority shareholders by ensuring that they are treated fairly in terms of their ownership rights and entitlements. This can include the right to share in the company’s profits and losses, as well as the right to vote on important corporate decisions.
  • It can be a useful tool for raising capital, as it allows a company to issue shares to minority shareholders in order to raise funds for growth and expansion. This can be particularly important for small and medium-sized companies that may not have access to other sources of financing.
  • Minority interest can also help to promote good corporate governance, as it can give minority shareholders a voice in the decision-making processes of the company and ensure that the interests of all shareholders are taken into account. This can help to prevent potential conflicts of interest and ensure that the company is managed in the best interests of all of its shareholders.


In conclusion, minority interest is an important aspect of corporate finance and ownership. It can provide protection and representation for minority shareholders, facilitate the raising of capital, and promote good corporate governance. Properly valuing and managing minority interests can be complex, but is essential for the successful operation and growth of a company. It is important for companies to carefully consider the implications and to take steps to ensure that it is properly valued and managed.

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