We examine the following question: Suppose R is a principal ideal domain, and that F is an n × m matrix with elements in R, with n>m. When does there exist an m × n matrix G such that GF = Im, and such that certain prescribed minors of G equal zero? We show that there is a simple necessary condition for the existence of such a G, but that this condition is not sufficient in general. However, if the set of minors of G that are required to be zero has a certain pattern, then the condition is necessary as well as sufficient. We then show that the pattern mentioned above arises naturally in connection with the question of the existence of decentralized stabilizing controllers for a given plant. Hence our result allows us to derive an extremely simple proof of the fact that a necessary and sufficient condition for the existence of decentralized stabilizing controllers is the absence of unstable decentralized fixed modes, as well as to derive a very clean expression for these fixed modes. In addition to the application to decentralized stabilization, we believe that the result is of independent interest.