IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Firm exit after distress: differentiating between bankruptcy, voluntary liquidation and M&A

  • Sofie Balcaen
  • Sophie Manigart

    ()

  • Jozefien Buyze
  • Hubert Ooghe

This paper examines firm-level determinants of mature firm exits after economic distress. Using nested logit models and a sample of 6,118 distress-related exits in Belgium, we analyze the type of exit that distressed firms experience. We show that 41% of the firms in our sample exit through a court driven exit procedure (mainly bankruptcy), 44% are voluntarily liquidated and 14% are acquired, merged or split (hereafter M&A). Distressed firm exit follows two distinct stages. First, a firm either decides to exit voluntarily or is forced into bankruptcy, which is the least efficient exit strategy. Compared to bankruptcy, the probability of a voluntary exit increases with higher levels of cash, lower leverage, holding no secured debt and being embedded in a group. If a firm exits voluntarily, it enters a second stage and decides either to exit through voluntary liquidation or through a M&A. Conditional on not going bankrupt, the likelihood of voluntary liquidation compared to M&A increases with higher levels of cash or secured debt, with smaller size and with an absence of group relations. We contribute to the firm exit literature by jointly analyzing three exit types and showing that bankruptcy and voluntary liquidation are fundamentally different exit routes. While voluntary liquidation is an important exit route for distressed firms, most previous studies have failed to distinguish between bankruptcy and liquidation. We hence contribute to the exit literature by showing that bankruptcy, voluntary liquidation and M&A are fundamentally distinct exit routes for distressed firms, driven by different firm level characteristics and following a two-stage process. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11187-011-9342-7
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer in its journal Small Business Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 949-975

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:39:y:2012:i:4:p:949-975
DOI: 10.1007/s11187-011-9342-7
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/new+%26+forthcoming+titles+%28default%29/journal/11187/PS2

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Denis, Diane K. & McConnell, John J., 2003. "International Corporate Governance," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(01), pages 1-36, March.
  2. Åstebro, Thomas & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "More than a dummy: The probability of failure, survival and acquisition of firms in financial distress," Munich Reprints in Economics 20185, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Balcaen, S. & Manigart, S. & Ooghe, H., 2009. "From Distress to exit: determinants of the time to exit," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2009-12, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
  4. Harhoff, Dietmar & Stahl, Konrad & Woywode, Michael, 1996. "Legal Form, Growth and Exit of West German Firms - Empirical Results for Manufacturing, Construction, Trade and Service Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1401, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Zeghal, Daniel, 1984. "Firm Size and the Informational Content of Financial Statements," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(03), pages 299-310, September.
  6. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1992. "Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Scholarly Articles 27692663, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
  8. repec:dgr:rugsom:01e15 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Wennberg, Karl & Wiklund, Johan & DeTienne, Dawn R. & Cardon, Melissa S., 2010. "Reconceptualizing entrepreneurial exit: Divergent exit routes and their drivers," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 361-375, July.
  10. Magda Bianco & Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 2001. "Courts and Banks: Effects of Judicial Enforcement on Credit Markets," CSEF Working Papers 58, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 09 Apr 2002.
  11. Williamson, Oliver E, 1988. " Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 567-91, July.
  12. David Greenaway, & Joakim Gullstrand, & Richard Kneller, . "Live or Let Die? Alternative Routes to Industry Exit," Discussion Papers 07/10, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  13. Pagano, Marco & Panetta, Fabio & Zingales, Luigi, 1996. "Why Do Companies Go Public? An Empirical Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1332, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Dewaelheyns, Nico & Van Hulle, Cynthia, 2009. "Filtering speed in a Continental European reorganization procedure," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 375-387, December.
  15. Erwin, Gayle R. & McConnell, John J., 1997. "To live or let die? An empirical analysis of piecemeal voluntary corporate liquidations," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 325-354, December.
  16. H. Leroy & S. Manigart & M. Meuleman, 2009. "The Planned Decision To Transfer An Entrepreneurial Company," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/577, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  17. Nico Dewaelheyns & Cynthia Hulle, 2008. "Legal reform and aggregate small and micro business bankruptcy rates: evidence from the 1997 Belgian bankruptcy code," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 409-424, December.
  18. Bergstrom, Clas & Eisenberg, Theodore & Sundgren, Stefan, 2002. "Secured debt and the likelihood of reorganization," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 359-372, May.
  19. Nico Dewaelheyns & Cynthia Van Hulle, 2006. "Corporate Failure Prediction Modeling: Distorted by Business Groups' Internal Capital Markets?," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(5-6), pages 909-931.
  20. Julian Franks & Oren Sussman, 2005. "Financial Distress and Bank Restructuring of Small to Medium Size UK Companies," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 65-96, 03.
  21. José Mata & Pedro Portugal, 2001. "The Survival of New Domestic and Foreign Owned Firms," Working Papers w200101, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  22. Hyun-Han Shin & René M. Stulz, 1998. "Are Internal capital Markets Efficient?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 531-552.
  23. Oscar Couwenberg, 2001. "Survival Rates in Bankruptcy Systems: Overlooking the Evidence," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 253-273, November.
  24. Stefan Buehler & Christian Kaiser & Franz Jaeger, 2005. "Merge or Fail? The Determinants of Mergers and Bankruptcies in Switzerland, 1995-2000," SOI - Working Papers 0506, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  25. Harlan Platt & Marjorie Platt, 2002. "Predicting corporate financial distress: Reflections on choice-based sample bias," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 26(2), pages 184-199, June.
  26. Arturo Bris & Ivo Welch & Ning Zhu, 2006. "The Costs of Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 Liquidation versus Chapter 11 Reorganization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1253-1303, 06.
  27. Cefis, Elena & Marsili, Orietta, 2006. "Survivor: The role of innovation in firms' survival," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 626-641, June.
  28. Kim, E. Han & Schatzberg, John D., 1987. "Voluntary corporate liquidations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 311-328, December.
  29. DeTienne, Dawn R., 2010. "Entrepreneurial exit as a critical component of the entrepreneurial process: Theoretical development," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 203-215, March.
  30. Oscar Couwenberg & Abe Jong, 2008. "Costs and recovery rates in the Dutch liquidation-based bankruptcy system," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 105-127, October.
  31. Leyman, Bart & Schoors, Koen J.L. & Coussement, Peter, 2011. "Does court-supervised reorganization work? Evidence from post-confirmation firm failure," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 149-168, September.
  32. Altman, Edward I, 1984. " A Further Empirical Investigation of the Bankruptcy Cost Question," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1067-89, September.
  33. Jeremy Berkowitz & Michelle J. White, 2004. "Bankruptcy and Small Firms' Access to Credit," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 69-84, Spring.
  34. Sreedhar T. Bharath & Sandeep Dahiya & Anthony Saunders, 2007. "Lending relationships and loan contract terms: does size matter?," Proceedings 1049, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  35. Larry Lang & Annette Poulsen & Rene M. Stulz, 1994. "Asset Sales, Firm Performance, and the Agency Costs of Managerial Discretion," NBER Working Papers 4654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. A. Bhattacharjee & C. Higson & S. Holly & P. Kattuman, 2009. "Macroeconomic Instability and Business Exit: Determinants of Failures and Acquisitions of UK Firms," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(301), pages 108-131, 02.
  37. Martha A. Schary, 1991. "The Probability of Exit," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 339-353, Autumn.
  38. Couwenberg, Oscar, 2001. "Survival rates in bankruptcy systems : overlooking the evidence," Research Report 01E15, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
  39. Diamond, Douglas W & Verrecchia, Robert E, 1991. " Disclosure, Liquidity, and the Cost of Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1325-59, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:39:y:2012:i:4:p:949-975. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.