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Leverage and pricing of debt in LBOs

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  • Colla, Paolo
  • Ippolito, Filippo
  • Wagner, Hannes F.

Abstract

We show that the structure and pricing of debt in LBOs mostly depend on a single characteristic of the target firm, pre-LBO profitability. We find a positive relationship between pre-LBO profitability and deal leverage that is consistent with a dynamic trade-off theory of capital structure in the presence of adjustment costs. We argue that the wide range of debt tranches used in LBO financing can be folded into two main categories, senior and junior debt, where the pricing of senior and junior debt depends on their relative use and on bankruptcy risk. Our evidence also suggests that senior lenders oversupply cheap credit during hot buyout markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Colla, Paolo & Ippolito, Filippo & Wagner, Hannes F., 2012. "Leverage and pricing of debt in LBOs," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 124-137.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:18:y:2012:i:1:p:124-137
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2011.11.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Huang, Ronghong & Tan, Kelvin Jui Keng & Faff, Robert W., 2016. "CEO overconfidence and corporate debt maturity," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 93-110.
    2. Troy D. Smith, 2015. "Private Equity Investment in India: Efficiency vs Expansion," Discussion Papers 15-011, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    3. João Pinto & Luís Pacheco & Paulo Alves & M. Ricardo Cunha, 2016. "How banks price loans in leveraged buy-outs: an empirical analysis of spreads determinants," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 04, Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
    4. Bienz, Carsten & Thorburn, Karin & Walz, Uwe, 2016. "Coinvestment and risk taking in private equity funds," SAFE Working Paper Series 126, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    5. Al-Shboul, Mohammad & Anwar, Sajid, 2014. "Time-varying exchange rate exposure and exchange rate risk pricing in the Canadian Equity Market," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 451-463.
    6. Morkoetter, Stefan & Wetzer, Thomas, 2015. "Do Private Equity Funds Always Pay Less? A Synergy-Related Explanation Based on Add-on Acquisitions," Working Papers on Finance 1522, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance, revised Sep 2016.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Leveraged buyout; Senior and junior debt; Term loans; High-yield debt; Private equity;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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