Based on our latest shareholder structure analysis at the end of the 2016 financial year, we were able to match around 93% (2015: 93%) of the approximately 306.2 M shares outstanding with their owners. As of December 31, 2016, the number of Fresenius Medical Care shares held by our largest shareholder, Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA remained unchanged at around 94.4 M. This corresponds to a 30.8% interest in our share capital. In the same analysis, we identified a further thirteen institutional investors with an interest in our share capital of more than 1%.
According to the analysis, 525 institutional investors (2015: 535) own Fresenius Medical Care shares, with the top 20 investors alone holding approximately 40% of identified shares in the free float (2015: 44%). Seven of the top 20 investors are based in Great Britain, while four are in the U. S., four in Germany, three in France and one each in Norway and Sweden.
In terms of distribution of regionally allocated shares held by institutional investors: more than half of the shares were held in Europe excluding Germany. 31% of all shares identified in the free float were held in Great Britain and Ireland. North America lost weight and represented 28%. The proportion held in Germany was stable at around 12%.
Our shareholder structure is well balanced in terms of regional breakdown as well as the share of private and institutional investors.