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Debt covenant design and creditor control rights: Evidence from the tightest covenant

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  • Wang, Jing

Abstract

Within the same debt contract, some financial covenants are considerably more restrictive than others. I exploit this heterogeneity in covenant design and show that the design of the most restrictive covenant is systematically associated with covenant outcomes - compliance, violations, or renegotiations. Consistent with an alleviation of moral hazard problems, tighter capital expenditure restrictions (performance covenants) are more likely to facilitate ex post creditor control through covenant renegotiations (violations). By contrast, borrowers are more likely to comply with contracts with tighter capital covenants, suggesting that these covenants more effectively align shareholder-creditor interests ex ante to avoid adverse selection problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Jing, 2017. "Debt covenant design and creditor control rights: Evidence from the tightest covenant," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 331-352.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:331-352
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2017.04.004
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial contracting; Incomplete contracts; Creditor rights; Asymmetric information; Agency problems;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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