Stock exchange listing offers some advantages (reputation, fluidity of capital, managers’ control, external growth, etc) and is subject to constraints, particularly in terms of cost and transparency. We seek to know if listing contributes to the creation of value in the SMEs, taking into account their specificities. Moreover, we wish to explain this value or lack of it by some strategic and governance variables such as the shareholding structure.

The basic theory of the paper is related to the governance theory. It stipulates that the financial market is a mechanism which governs the strategic behavior of the managers and reduces their managerial latitude. SMEs are not free of the agency problem. Some authors link that to owner opportunism, auto control, altruism with the family members, non-economic motivations… That’s why it seems to be important to study which kind of shareholding (familial, managerial or controlled) is better in the context of listing. Three theses are in confrontation: convergence of interest, entrenchment and neutrality.