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Corporate ownership structure and the choice between bank debt and public debt

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  • Lin, Chen
  • Ma, Yue
  • Malatesta, Paul
  • Xuan, Yuhai

Abstract

This article examines the relation between a borrowing firm's ownership structure and its choice of debt source using a novel data set on corporate ownership, control, and debt structures for 9,831 firms in 20 countries from 2001 to 2010. We find that the divergence between the control rights and cash-flow rights of a borrowing firm's largest ultimate owner has a significant negative impact on the firm's reliance on bank debt financing. In addition, we show that the control-ownership divergence affects other aspects of debt structure including debt maturity and security. Our results indicate that firms controlled by large shareholders with excess control rights may choose public debt financing over bank debt as a way of avoiding scrutiny and insulating themselves from bank monitoring.

Suggested Citation

  • Lin, Chen & Ma, Yue & Malatesta, Paul & Xuan, Yuhai, 2013. "Corporate ownership structure and the choice between bank debt and public debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 517-534.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:109:y:2013:i:2:p:517-534
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2013.03.006
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ownership structure; Excess control rights; Bank Debt; Public Debt;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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