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Does short-maturity debt discipline managers? Evidence from cash-rich firms' acquisition decisions

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  • Huang, Qianqian
  • Jiang, Feng
  • Wu, Szu-Yin (Jennifer)

Abstract

We study the disciplinary role of short-maturity debt in cash-rich firms. We report evidence that such debt mitigates cash-rich firms' overinvestment in acquisitions. The disciplinary role is mostly concentrated among cash-rich firms that are weakly governed and have limited access to the public debt market and is also more pronounced for cash-rich firms that operate in less competitive industries. Furthermore, for cash-rich acquirers, high levels of short-maturity debt are associated with higher acquisition announcement returns and better post-acquisition operating performance. Overall, our results highlight the effective role of short-maturity debt in reducing agency cost.

Suggested Citation

  • Huang, Qianqian & Jiang, Feng & Wu, Szu-Yin (Jennifer), 2018. "Does short-maturity debt discipline managers? Evidence from cash-rich firms' acquisition decisions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 133-154.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:133-154
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2018.10.001
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Debt maturity; Short-maturity debt; Acquisitions; Cash holdings; Agency conflicts;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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