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Optimal design of rating-trigger step-up bonds: Agency conflicts versus asymmetric information

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  • Koziol, Christian
  • Lawrenz, Jochen

Abstract

Agency conflicts and asymmetric information are two possible explanations that may rationalize the use of a step-up provision in the bond indenture. Within a continuous-time framework with bankruptcy costs and tax benefits, we analyze the optimal step-up bond design with respect to both frictions. We find that (i) contrary to existing results, step-up bonds are indeed able to mitigate the asset substitution problem, (ii) the use of a step-up feature can be a credible signal to overcome asymmetric information problems, and (iii) the optimal design as well as the conditions for the optimal use of step-up bonds is considerably different for the two explanations. This outcome implies that, based on observable firm and bond characteristics, it is possible to discriminate between the two motives underlying the use of step-up bonds.

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  • Koziol, Christian & Lawrenz, Jochen, 2010. "Optimal design of rating-trigger step-up bonds: Agency conflicts versus asymmetric information," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 182-204, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:16:y:2010:i:2:p:182-204
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sarkar, Sudipto & Zhang, Chuanqian, 2015. "Underinvestment and the design of performance-sensitive debt," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 240-253.
    2. Koziol, Christian & Lawrenz, Jochen, 2012. "Contingent convertibles. Solving or seeding the next banking crisis?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 90-104.
    3. Karampatsas, Nikolaos & Petmezas, Dimitris & Travlos, Nickolaos G., 2014. "Credit ratings and the choice of payment method in mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 474-493.
    4. Sudipto Sarkar & Chuanqian Zhang, 2016. "Loan-commitment borrowing and performance-sensitive debt," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 973-986, November.
    5. Bannier, Christina E. & Wiemann, Markus, 2014. "Performance-sensitive debt: The intertwined effects of performance measurement and pricing grid asymmetry," CFS Working Paper Series 476, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    6. Bank, Matthias & Kupfer, Alexander, 2014. "A sequential pricing framework for corporate securities: The case of rating-trigger step-up/-down bonds," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 437-445.
    7. Aziz Jaafar & M. Shahid Ebrahim & Fatma A. Omar & Murizah Osman Salleh, 2016. "Can Islamic Injunctions Indemnify the Structural Flaws of Securitized Debt?," Working Papers 16001, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
    8. Adam, Tim R. & Streitz, Daniel, 2014. "Hold-Up and the Use of Performance-Sensitive Debt," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 476, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    9. Ebrahim, M. Shahid & Jaafar, Aziz & Omar, Fatma A. & Salleh, Murizah Osman, 2016. "Can Islamic injunctions indemnify the structural flaws of securitized debt?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 271-286.
    10. Liu, Bo & Xia, Xin & Yang, Jinqiang, 2017. "Financing constraints and the use of performance-sensitive debt," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 73-84.

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