Holding companies have one dominant objective and that is to safeguard the promoters’ grip over the underlying companies. They are not investment vehicles also.Main income is dividend income.
So book value and intrinsic value of the holding company has little meaning for the investor. The potential cash flow is possible but not probable,since it will remain unrealised,because the underlying shares will never be sold.
promoter buying of holding company shares is a good thing only on paper, since it is only another way of tightening the control of the promoters’ over the underlying companies.
you are right that even when shares are liquidated, the minority shareholders seldom benefit,since there is no pass through to the minority shareholders.
As to why such limited purpose holding companies are listed,perhaps that is to provide a legal way to retain and increase control of the promoters,at the cost of the minority shareholders,while also raising relatively cheaper-cost funds for doing so.