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Borrow Cheap, Buy High? The Determinants of Leverage and Pricing in Buyouts

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  • Ulf Axelson

    ()

  • Tim Jenkinsom

    ()

  • Per Strömberg

    ()

  • Michael S. Weisbach

    ()

Abstract

Private equity sponsors pay special attention to designing capital structure, making buyouts an interesting setting for examining capital structure theories. In a detailed international sample of buyouts, we find that buyout leverage is unrelated to factors that drive public firm leverage, such as industry factors and other cross-sectional characteristics, contrary to what standard capital structure theories suggest. Instead, variation in economy-wide credit conditions is the main driver of leverage and pricing in buyouts, while having little impact on public firms. Higher deal leverage is associated with lower buyout fund returns, suggesting that acquirers overpay when access to credit is easier.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Financial Markets Group in its series FMG Discussion Papers with number dp698.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp698

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Cited by:
  1. Colla, Paolo & Ippolito, Filippo & Wagner, Hannes F., 2012. "Leverage and pricing of debt in LBOs," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 124-137.
  2. Thorsten Knauer & Friedrich Sommer, 2012. "Interest barrier rules as a response to highly leveraged transactions: Evidence from the 2008 German business tax reform," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 11(2), pages 206-232, May.
  3. Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Phalippou, Ludovic & Gottschalg, Olivier, 2010. "Giants at the Gate: On the Cross-section of Private Equity Investment Returns," MPRA Paper 28487, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Nadauld, Taylor D. & Weisbach, Michael S., 2012. "Did securitization affect the cost of corporate debt?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 332-352.
  5. Lily Fang & Victoria Ivashina & Josh Lerner, 2013. "Combining Banking with Private Equity Investing," NBER Working Papers 19300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lily Fang & Victoria Ivashina & Josh Lerner, 2013. "The Disintermediation of Financial Markets: Direct Investing in Private Equity," NBER Working Papers 19299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cohn, Jonathan B. & Mills, Lillian F. & Towery, Erin M., 2014. "The evolution of capital structure and operating performance after leveraged buyouts: Evidence from U.S. corporate tax returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 469-494.
  8. Tykvová, Tereza & Borell, Mariela, 2011. "Do private equity owners increase risk of financial distress and bankruptcy?," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-076, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. David T. Robinson & Berk A. Sensoy, 2011. "Cyclicality, Performance Measurement, and Cash Flow Liquidity in Private Equity," NBER Working Papers 17428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gregory, David, 2013. "Private equity and financial stability," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 53(1), pages 38-47.
  11. Achleitner, Ann-Kristin & Braun, Reiner & Engel, Nico, 2011. "Value creation and pricing in buyouts: Empirical evidence from Europe and North America," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 146-161.
  12. Achleitner, Ann-Kristin & Braun, Reiner & Tappeiner, Florian, 2009. "Structure and determinants of financial covenants in leveraged buyouts - evidence from an economy with strong creditor rights," CEFS Working Paper Series 2009-15, Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS), Technische Universität München.

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