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Creditor financing and overbidding in bankruptcy auctions: Theory and tests

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  • Eckbo, B. Espen
  • Thorburn, Karin S.

Abstract

We present unique empirical tests for auction overbidding using data from Sweden's auction bankruptcy system. The main creditor (a bank) can neither bid in the auction nor refuse to sell in order to support a minimum price. However, we argue that the bank may increase its expected revenue by financing a bidder in return for a joint bid strategy, and we show that the optimal coalition bid exceeds the bidder's private valuation (overbidding) by an amount that is increasing in the bank's ex ante debt impairment. We find that bank-bidder financing arrangements are common, and our cross-sectional regressions show that winning bids are increasing in the bank-debt impairment as predicted. While, in theory, overbidding may result in the coalition winning against a more efficient rival bidder, our evidence on post-bankruptcy operating performance fails to support such allocative inefficiency effects. We also find that restructurings by bank-financed bidders are relatively risky as they have greater bankruptcy refiling rates, irrespective of the coalition's overbidding incentive.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

Volume (Year): 15 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 10-29

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Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:15:y:2009:i:1:p:10-29

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

Related research

Keywords: Bankruptcy Auction Overbidding Creditor financing Allocative efficiency Going-concern sale Piecemeal liquidation Operating performance;

References

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  1. Bebchuk, Lucian Ayre & Chang, Howard F, 1992. "Bargaining and the Division of Value in Corporate Reorganization," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 253-79, April.
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  3. Hotchkiss, Edith S. & Mooradian, Robert M., 2003. "Auctions in bankruptcy," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 555-574, November.
  4. Robert Gertner & David Scharfstein, 1991. "A Theory of Workouts and the Effects of Reorganization Law," NBER Technical Working Papers 0103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
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  7. Berkovitch, Elazar & Israel, Ronen & Zender, Jaime F., 1997. "Optimal bankruptcy law and firm-specific investments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 487-497, April.
  8. Vojislav Maksimovic & Gordon Phillips, 1998. "Asset Efficiency and Reallocation Decisions of Bankrupt Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1495-1532, October.
  9. Aghion, P. & Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1992. "The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform," Working papers 92-11, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Hansen, Robert G. & Thomas, Randall S., 1998. "Auctions in bankruptcy: theoretical analysis and practical guidance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-185, June.
  11. Franks, Julian R & Torous, Walter N, 1989. " An Empirical Investigation of U.S. Firms in Reorganization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 747-69, July.
  12. Eckbo, B Espen & Thorburn, Karin S, 2002. "Control Benefits and CEO Discipline in Automatic Bankruptcy Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3481, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Matthew Rhodes-Kropf & S. Viswanathan, 2000. "Corporate Reorganizations and Non-Cash Auctions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1807-1854, 08.
  14. Hotchkiss, Edith S. & Mooradian, Robert M., 1998. "Acquisitions as a Means of Restructuring Firms in Chapter 11," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 240-262, July.
  15. Arturo Bris & Ivo Welch & Ning Zhu, 2006. "The Costs of Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 Liquidation versus Chapter 11 Reorganization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1253-1303, 06.
  16. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  17. Betton, Sandra & Eckbo, B Espen, 2000. "Toeholds, Bid Jumps, and Expected Payoffs in Takeovers," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 841-82.
  18. Brown, David T, 1989. "Claimholder Incentive Conflicts in Reorganization: The Role of Bankruptcy Law," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(1), pages 109-23.
  19. Burkart, Mike, 1995. " Initial Shareholdings and Overbidding in Takeover Contests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1491-1515, December.
  20. Baird, Douglas G, 1993. "Revisiting Auctions in Chapter 11," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 633-53, April.
  21. Thorburn, Karin S., 2000. "Bankruptcy auctions: costs, debt recovery, and firm survival," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 337-368, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ciliberto, Federico & Schenone, Carola, 2010. "Are the Bankrupt Skies the Friendliest?," MPRA Paper 24915, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Betton, Sandra & Eckbo, B. Espen & Thorburn, Karin S., 2009. "Merger negotiations and the toehold puzzle," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 158-178, February.
  3. Ciliberto, Federico & Schenone, Carola, 2012. "Bankruptcy and product-market competition: Evidence from the airline industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 564-577.
  4. Netter, Jeffry & Poulsen, Annette & Stegemoller, Mike, 2009. "The rise of corporate governance in corporate control research," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-9, February.
  5. Espen Eckbo, B. & Thorburn, S. Karin, 2008. "Automatic bankruptcy auctions and fire-sales," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 404-422, September.
  6. Blazy, Régis & Chopard, Bertrand & Fimayer, Agnès & Guigou, Jean-Daniel, 2011. "Employment preservation vs. creditors' repayment under bankruptcy law: The French dilemma?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 126-141, June.
  7. Eckbo, B. Espen, 2009. "Bidding strategies and takeover premiums: A review," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 149-178, February.

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