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Do Spin-offs Expropriate Wealth from Bondholders?

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Listed:
  • William F. Maxwell

    (University of Arizona.)

  • Ramesh P. Rao

    (Oklahoma State University.)

Abstract

A wealth transfer from bondholders to stockholders is one of several hypotheses used to explain stockholder gains on the announcement of a spin-off. However, previous empirical research has not found systematic evidence supporting the wealth expropriation hypothesis. Using a larger sample with comprehensive bond data, we find evidence consistent with wealth expropriation. Bondholders, on average, suffer a significant negative abnormal return during the month of the spin-off announcement. However, even accounting for the loss to the bondholders, the aggregate value of the publicly traded debt and equity increases on a spin-off announcement, suggesting that the wealth expropriation hypothesis is not a complete explanation of the stockholder gains. In explaining the magnitude of the losses to bondholders, we find they are a function of the loss in collateral in the spun-off subsidiary and the level of financial risk of the parent firm. Consistent with a loss to bondholders, firms are more likely to have their credit rating downgraded than upgraded after a spin-off. Additionally, consistent with the wealth transfer hypothesis, losses to bondholders tend to be more severe, the larger the gains to shareholders. Copyright (c) 2003 by the American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • William F. Maxwell & Ramesh P. Rao, 2003. "Do Spin-offs Expropriate Wealth from Bondholders?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 2087-2108, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:58:y:2003:i:5:p:2087-2108
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    Cited by:

    1. Maul, D. & Schiereck, D., 2016. "The bond event study methodology since 1974," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 80723, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
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    3. Kitsabunnarat-Chatjuthamard, Pattanaporn & Lung, Peter & Nishikawa, Takeshi & Rao, Ramesh P., 2010. "Leverage-reducing exchange offers and bondholder-stockholder wealth transfers: A re-evaluation," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 81-94, January.
    4. Chan, Chia-Chung & Lin, Bing-Huei & Chang, Yung-Ho & Liao, Wei-Chen, 2013. "Does bank relationship matter for corporate risk-taking? Evidence from listed firms in Taiwan," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 323-338.
    5. Narayanan, V.K. & Yang, Yi & Zahra, Shaker A., 2009. "Corporate venturing and value creation: A review and proposed framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 58-76, February.
    6. repec:kap:rqfnac:v:49:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11156-016-0585-x is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Cao, Kien & Coy, Jeffrey & Nguyen, Thuy, 2016. "The likelihood of management involvement, offer premiums, and target shareholder wealth effects: Evidence from the 2002–2007 LBO wave," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 641-655.
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    14. Jun, Sang-gyung & Jung, Mookwon & Walkling, Ralph A., 2009. "Share repurchase, executive options and wealth changes to stockholders and bondholders," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 212-229, April.
    15. Nejadmalayeri, Ali & Nishikawa, Takeshi & Rao, Ramesh P., 2013. "Sarbanes-Oxley Act and corporate credit spreads," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2991-3006.
    16. Harris, Oneil & Madura, Jeff, 2011. "Why are proposed spinoffs withdrawn?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 69-81, February.
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    18. Chemmanur, Thomas J. & Liu, Mark H., 2011. "Institutional trading, information production, and the choice between spin-offs, carve-outs, and tracking stock issues," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 62-82, February.
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    21. Steve Janner & Daniel Schmidt, 2015. "Are economically significant bond returns explained by corporate news? An examination of the German corporate bond market," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 29(3), pages 271-298, August.
    22. Thompson, Thomas H. & Apilado, Vince, 2009. "An examination of the impact of equity carve-outs on stockholder and bondholder wealth," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 61(5), pages 376-391, September.
    23. Szilagyi, P.G., 2007. "Corporate governance and the agency costs of debt and outside equity," Other publications TiSEM 9520d40a-224f-43a8-9bf9-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    24. Dmitri Boreiko & Maurizio Murgia, 2013. "European spin-offs Origin, value creation, and long-term performance," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS05, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.

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