Going private transactions, bondholder returns, and wealth transfer effects
We examine how buyout activity and deal characteristics drive bondholder returns and the wealth transfer effects between bondholders and stockholders in going private transactions from 1981 to 2006. We find that various deal characteristics are major determinants of the cross-sectional variation in bondholder returns. In particular, a single private equity acquirer mitigates bondholder losses. On the other hand, bondholders have larger losses when a reputable buyout firm is involved in the deal. Bondholders experience losses in the 1980s and 2000s, but enjoy gains in the 1990s. Our findings remain robust to consideration of deal financing, relative cost of credit, and level of market overheating. We find a negative and significant relationship between stockholder and bondholder wealth effects, which supports the wealth transfer hypothesis.
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