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What Victor Newman and Jack Abbott tell us about Ed, Loretta and Martha's battle for Rogers

In the world of daytime soap operas, corporate battles often match the business challenges faced in the real world. Especially when a family that owns a minority of shares has a majority of the control — and fights over it.

Dual-class share structures — both fictional and real — can cause corporate governance issues

Whether it's the late Ted Rogers (far left) leaving control of Rogers Communications to family members such as son Ed Rogers, or the fictional Victor Newman wresting control of Jabot Cosmetics from Jack Abbott (far right) — the soap world of The Young and the Restless is an example of what's happening with the very real world of dual-class share structures. (Norm Betts/Bloomberg News, Global/CBS)

The continuing story of who controls telecom giant Rogers is straight out of a television soap opera, but there are real legal and business principles at play here.

In the world of The Young and the Restless, viewers have seen corporate battles over who sits on a board of directors that have a lot of similarities to the Rogers saga — minus some evil twins, faked deaths and swapped paternity tests.

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On both soap operas and in real life, dual-class share structures are the culprit, when a company takes regular investors money and doesn't give them a vote in exchange. In the case of Rogers, the family owns a minority of shares but has a majority of the control — and fights over it.

And it's not just Rogers. Bombardier, Shaw, Canadian Tire, and tech giants like Facebook have similar structures.

Cost of Living producer Anis Heydari looks at how dual-class shares work and explains what it has to do with Victor Newman, Jack Abbott and the fictional boards of Newman Enterprises and Jabot Cosmetics.


Listen to the segment above  — or download and subscribe to the Cost of Living podcast. 

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