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Concentration of control rights in leveraged loan syndicates

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  • Berlin, Mitchell
  • Nini, Greg
  • Yu, Edison G.

Abstract

We find that corporate loan contracts frequently concentrate control rights with a subset of lenders. Despite the rise in term loans without financial covenants—so-called covenant-lite loans—borrowing firms’ revolving lines of credit almost always retain traditional financial covenants. This split structure gives revolving lenders the exclusive right and ability to monitor and to renegotiate the financial covenants, and we confirm that loans with split control rights are still subject to the discipline of financial covenants. We provide evidence that split control rights are designed to mitigate bargaining frictions that have arisen with the entry of nonbank lenders and became apparent during the financial crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Berlin, Mitchell & Nini, Greg & Yu, Edison G., 2020. "Concentration of control rights in leveraged loan syndicates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 249-271.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:137:y:2020:i:1:p:249-271
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2020.02.002
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    3. Lee, Edward & Pappas, Kostas & Xu, Alice Liang, 2020. "Foreign Lenders’ adoption of performance pricing provisions in syndicated loans," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Covenant; Cov-lite; Institutional loans; Control rights; Credit agreements;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G29 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Other

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