Definition: Ultimate beneficial owner

The ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) of a given unit is the unit which, while going up the chain of direct and indirect majority owners, is not owned by more than 50 per cent by another unit. 

For example, if enterprise A owns 70% of enterprise B which owns 60% of C, and if no unit owns more than 50% of A, A is the UBO of both B and C.

If enterprises B1 and B2 own 20 and 40 per cent, respectively, of enterprise C, and if enterprise A, owns 100 per cent of B1 and 80 per cent of B2, A indirectly owns 100% x 20% + 80% x 40% = 52% of C and is therefore the UBO of C. It may be noted that if ownership is expressed in terms of ordinary shares or voting power, A controls C, although indirectly (neither B1 nor B2 controls C).

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