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Costs of Financial Distress, Delayed Calls of Convertible Bonds, and the Role of Investment Banks

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  • Jaffee, Dwight
  • Shleifer, Andrei

Abstract

In a frictionless market with perfect information, a shareholder-wealth- maximizing firm should force conversion of its convertible bond issue into stock as soon as the bond comes in-the-money. Firms however appear to systematically delay forced conversion, sometimes for years, beyond this time. We show that the observed delays can be plausibly explained in terms of costs to shareholders of a failed conversion and the ensuing financial distress. Firms delay the forced conversion to avoid the self-fulfilling outcome that bondholders expect the conversion to fail, tender their bonds for cash, and the stock price falls to account for the costs of financial distress, in which case tendering for cash is in fact optimal. Unlike other explanations of delayed forced conversion, we can explain the common use of investment banks to underwrite these transactions, since the banks can eliminate the self-fulfilling bad outcome.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3606238.

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Date of creation: 1990
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Business -Chicago-
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3606238

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  1. Dann, Larry Y. & Mikkelson, Wayne H., 1984. "Convertible debt issuance, capital structure change and financing-related information : Some new evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 157-186, June.
  2. Warner, Jerold B, 1977. "Bankruptcy Costs: Some Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 337-47, May.
  3. Shleifer, Andrei, 1986. " Do Demand Curves for Stocks Slope Down?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 579-90, July.
  4. Brennan, M J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1977. "Convertible Bonds: Valuation and Optimal Strategies for Call and Conversion," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(5), pages 1699-1715, December.
  5. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  6. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1985. " A Sequential Signalling Model of Convertible Debt Call Policy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(5), pages 1263-81, December.
  7. Mikkelson, Wayne H., 1981. "Convertible calls and security returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 237-264, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Scruggs, John T., 2007. "Estimating the cross-sectional market response to an endogenous event: Naked vs. underwritten calls of convertible bonds," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 220-247, March.
  2. Jeremy C. Stein, 1992. "Convertible Bonds as "Back Door" Equity Financing," NBER Working Papers 4028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bajo, Emanuele & Barbi, Massimiliano, 2012. "The role of time value in convertible bond call policy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 550-563.
  4. Isagawa, Nobuyuki, 2000. "Convertible debt: an effective financial instrument to control managerial opportunism," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 15-26.
  5. Altintig, Z. Ayca & Butler, Alexander W., 2005. "Are they still called late? The effect of notice period on calls of convertible bonds," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 337-350, March.
  6. King, Tao-Hsien Dolly & Mauer, David C., 2014. "Determinants of corporate call policy for convertible bonds," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 112-134.
  7. Bruce D. Grundy & Patrick Verwijmeren, 2012. "Dividend-Protected Convertible Bonds and the Disappearance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-060/2/DSF37, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Kim, Yong O. & Kallberg, Jarl, 1998. "Convertible calls and corporate taxes under asymmetric information," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 19-40, January.
  9. Sarkar, Sudipto, 2003. "Early and late calls of convertible bonds: Theory and evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1349-1374, July.
  10. repec:dgr:uvatin:2012060 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Asquith, Paul, 1948-, 1992. "Convertible debt--a dynamic test of call policy," Working papers 3413-92., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.

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