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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckbo, B. Espen & Thorburn, Karin S., 2009. "Creditor financing and overbidding in bankruptcy auctions: Theory and tests," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 10-29, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:15:y:2009:i:1:p:10-29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Li, Kai & Wang, Wei, 2016. "Debtor-in-possession financing, loan-to-loan, and loan-to-own," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 121-138.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Eckbo, B. Espen, 2009. "Bidding strategies and takeover premiums: A review," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 149-178, February.
    6. Ciliberto, Federico & Schenone, Carola, 2012. "Are the bankrupt skies the friendliest?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 1217-1231.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. B. Espen Eckbo & Karin S. Thorburn, 2009. "Bankruptcy as an Auction Process: Lessons from Sweden," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 21(3), pages 38-52.

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