Holding companies are corporations that are created for the sole purpose of obtaining and managing a controlling interest in other companies. There are several reasons why a holding company may be created. At times, the activity may be a key element in avoiding a takeover situation. In other situations, this sort of company organization may be created in order to more efficiently manage resources used in the operation of a given business. It is important to remember that laws governing the establishment of a holding company vary from one country to the next. For this reason, the legal definition of this type of company is often slightly different around the world. For example, most countries require that a holding company actually control a minimum of 50% of the voting shares in order to be legally recognized. However, some jurisdictions require that the percentage of voting shares be higher. See parent company; sister company; subsidiary.