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Targeting Capital Structure: The Relationship between Risky Debt and the Firm's Likelihood of Being Acquired

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  • Billett, Matthew T

Abstract

In a takeover, wealth transfers from bidder and target equityholders to target debtholders can occur if target debt is coinsured by either the bidder's assets or by the synergy itself. Such wealth transfers reduce bidder and target shareholder gains and could poison the acquisition. With a sample from 1979-90, the author finds that, as the coinsurance potential of a firm's debt--measured as the amount of relatively risky debt outstanding--increases, its likelihood of being acquired decreases. In particular, he finds this coinsurance deterrent to be strongest during the 1985-90 period and strongest for firms with public debt outstanding. Copyright 1996 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Billett, Matthew T, 1996. "Targeting Capital Structure: The Relationship between Risky Debt and the Firm's Likelihood of Being Acquired," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(2), pages 173-192, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jnlbus:v:69:y:1996:i:2:p:173-92
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jandik, Tomas & Makhija, Anil K., 2005. "Debt, debt structure and corporate performance after unsuccessful takeovers: evidence from targets that remain independent," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 882-914, October.
    2. Jandik, Tomas & Makhija, Anil K., 2005. "The Impact of the Structure of Debt on Target Gains," Working Paper Series 2005-5, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
    3. Billett, Matthew T. & Yang, Ke, 2016. "Bond tender offers in mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 128-141.
    4. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Choon-Geol Moon & Michael S. Pagano, 2001. "Managerial incentives and the efficiency of capital structure," Proceedings 713, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    5. Goh, Jeremy C. & Ederington, Louis H., 1999. "Cross-sectional variation in the stock market reaction to bond rating changes," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 101-112.
    6. Jandik, Tomas & Makhija, Anil K., 2004. "Debt, Debt Structure and Corporate Performance after Unsuccessful Takeovers: Evidence from Targets that Remain Independent," Working Paper Series 2005-6, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
    7. Huang, Chia-Wei, 2015. "Takeover vulnerability and the credibility of signaling: The case of open-market share repurchases," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 405-417.
    8. Hailu, Getu & Goddard, Ellen W. & Jeffrey, Scott R., 2005. "Do Decision Makers' Debt-risk Attitudes Affect the Agency Costs of Debt?," CAFRI: Current Agriculture, Food and Resource Issues, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, issue 06.
    9. Chen, Sheng-Syan & Hsu, Ching-Yu & Huang, Chia-Wei, 2016. "The white squire defense: Evidence from private investments in public equity," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 16-35.
    10. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Choon-Geol Moon & Michael S. Pagano, 2004. "Managerial Incentives and the Efficiency of Capital Structure in U.S. Commercial Banking," Departmental Working Papers 200401, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    11. repec:wsi:qjfxxx:v:07:y:2017:i:01:n:s2010139217400018 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Bhabra, Gurmeet Singh, 2007. "Insider ownership and firm value in New Zealand," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 142-154, April.
    13. North, David S., 2001. "The role of managerial incentives in corporate acquisitions: the 1990s evidence," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 125-149, June.
    14. Mueller, Holger M & Panunzi, Fausto, 2003. "Tender Offers and Leverage," CEPR Discussion Papers 3964, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Wald, John K. & Long, Michael S., 2007. "The effect of state laws on capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 297-319, February.
    16. Vijh, Anand M. & Yang, Ke, 2013. "Are small firms less vulnerable to overpriced stock offers?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 61-86.

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