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The Financial Performance of Whole Company LBOs

  • David J Ravenscraft
  • William F Long
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    Using the previously untapped Census Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) file, we explored the financial performance of a large unbiased sample of 209 leveraged buyouts (LBOs) and 48 going private transactions occurring between 1978 and 1989. Our principal findings are: First, we confirm previous work showing that LBOs substantially increase operating performance and reduce taxes. Second, we find that the operating performance gains are sustained for three years. However, there is a significant drop in performance in the fourth and fifth years. Performance in these years is not significantly above the pre- LBO level. Third, total debt to assets displays only a slight insignificant downward trend. Thus, high debt remains after the drop in performance. Fourth, we find evidence that the performance gains decline in the mid- to late 1980s, with the exception of 1989. Fifth, the data suggest that LBOs target typical firms. The only significant pre-LBO firm characteristic was lower bank debt relative to nonbank debt. Sixth, we identify a number of factors that differentiate LBO performance. Performance tends to be higher when pre-LBO performance is low and the firm is classified as a large R&D performer. Conversely, management buyouts and buyouts involving extensive restructuring did not outperform other buyouts. Finally, we observe a clear linkage between debt and performance, since nonleveraging going-private deals have significantly lower performance than LBOs.

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    File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/1993/CES-WP-93-16.pdf
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    Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 93-16.

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    Date of creation: Nov 1993
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    Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:93-16
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    1. Marais, Laurentius & Schipper, Katherine & Smith, Abbie, 1989. "Wealth effects of going private for senior securities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 155-191, June.
    2. Degeorge, Francois & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1993. " The Reverse LBO Decision and Firm Performance: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1323-48, September.
    3. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda & Rice, Edward M, 1984. "Going Private: Minority Freezeouts and Stockholder Wealth," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 367-401, October.
    4. Bronwyn H. Hall., 1989. "The Impact of Corporate Restructuring on Industrial Research and Development," Economics Working Papers 89-129, University of California at Berkeley.
    5. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Hayne E. Leland and David H. Pyle., 1976. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Research Program in Finance Working Papers 41, University of California at Berkeley.
    7. Frank R Lichtenberg & Donald Siegel, 1989. "The Effects Of Leveraged Buyouts On Productivity And Related Aspects Of Firm Behavior," Working Papers 89-5, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    8. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    9. Hite, Gailen L. & Owers, James E. & Rogers, Ronald C., 1987. "The market for interfirm asset sales : Partial sell-offs and total liquidations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 229-252, June.
    10. Lehn, Kenneth & Poulsen, Annette, 1989. " Free Cash Flow and Stockholder Gains in Going Private Transactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 771-87, July.
    11. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
    12. Randall Morck & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1988. "Characteristics of Targets of Hostile and Friendly Takeovers," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 101-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Ravenscraft, David J & Scherer, F M, 1987. "Life after Takeover," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 147-56, December.
    14. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
    15. Kaplan, Steven, 1989. "The effects of management buyouts on operating performance and value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 217-254.
    16. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
    17. Williamson, Oliver E, 1988. " Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 567-91, July.
    18. Kenneth Lehn & Annette Poulsen, 1989. "Free Cash Flow and Stockholder Gains in Going Private Transactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 771-787, 07.
    19. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    20. Muscarella, Chris J & Vetsuypens, Michael R, 1990. " Efficiency and Organizational Structure: A Study of Reverse LBOs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1389-1413, December.
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