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Resolution Of Financial Distress: A Comparative Analysis Of U.S., U.K., And Japanese Firms


  • Richard A. AJAYI

    () (Department of Finance, College of Business Administration, University of Central Florida,Orlando FL 32816- 1400, Tel: (407)-823-5908)

  • Luminita ENACHE

    () (School of Accounting and Commercial Law, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand)

  • Seyed MEHDIAN

    () (School of Management, University of Michigan - Flint, Tel: (810) - 762 - 3318)


This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of reorganization provisions available to financially distressed firms in three major economies – the U.S. the U.K., and Japan. The paper addresses a central question of the relative effectiveness of the various bankruptcy laws in resolving corporate financial distress and providing opportunities for efficient and timely reorganization.The results indicate that in each of the three economies included in this study available opportunities seem to focus on improving the odds of rehabilitating viable but distressed firms.In the U.S. Chapter 11 provision, debtor in control feature is beneficiary to equity holders of the firm, since management’s goal is to maximize shareholder value. Under the U.K. bankruptcy code, creditors have complete control of the firm and the sole objective of creditors is to liquidate the firm and secure their claims. Majority of the firms which enter insolvency process are liquidated even if they could have benefitted from reorganization. In Japan, the creditors of the firm are usually the equity holders’ of the firm at the same time, due to its unique “main bank” system. Firms under financial distress are less likely to go through formal reorganization procedure. The U.S. has a debtor friendly bankruptcy codes while in the U.K. and Japan, creditors have the superior power under bankruptcy filing. Therefore, creditors and bankers are more likely to invest in the U.K. and Japan, while equity holders are more likely to favor investment in the U.S. The paper also presents empirical regularities or lack thereof in the dynamic of bankruptcy resolution evolution and growth rate of GDP in the three major markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard A. AJAYI & Luminita ENACHE & Seyed MEHDIAN, 2012. "Resolution Of Financial Distress: A Comparative Analysis Of U.S., U.K., And Japanese Firms," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 10, pages 147-163, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aic:revebs:y:2012:i:10:ajayir

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael C. Jensen, 2010. "Active Investors, LBOs, and the Privatization of Bankruptcy," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 22(1), pages 77-85, January.
    2. Sris Chatterjee & Upinder S. Dhillon & Gabriel G. Ramirez, 1996. "Resolution of Financial Distress : Debt Restructurings via Chapter 11, Prepackaged Bankruptcies, and Workouts," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 25(1), Spring.
    3. Gertner, Robert & Scharfstein, David, 1991. " A Theory of Workouts and the Effects of Reorganization Law," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1189-1222, September.
    4. Christine Pochet, 2002. "Institutional Complementarities within Corporate Governance Systems: A Comparative Study of Bankruptcy Rules," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 6(4), pages 343-381, December.
    5. W. Carl Kester, 1991. "Japanese Corporate Governance And The Conservation Of Value In Financial Distress," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 4(2), pages 98-105, June.
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