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The Financial Performance of Whole Company LBOs

Author

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  • David J Ravenscraft
  • William F Long

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • David J Ravenscraft & William F Long, 1993. "The Financial Performance of Whole Company LBOs," Working Papers 93-16, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:93-16
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/1993/CES-WP-93-16.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Steven Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Josh Lerner & Javier Miranda, 2008. "Private Equity and Employment," Working Papers 08-07r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Oct 2011.
    2. Renneboog, L.D.R. & Simons, T., 2005. "Public-to-Private Transactions : LBOs, MBOs, MBIs and IBOs," Discussion Paper 2005-98, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Yousfi, Ouidad, 2007. "Le rôle de la dette dans le LBO : une revue de la littérature
      [Debt in LBO projects: survey of the literature]
      ," MPRA Paper 28708, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2007.
    4. Borisov, Alexander & Ellul, Andrew & Sevilir, Merih, 2015. "Access to Public Capital Markets and Employment Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 10521, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Alexander Borisov & Andrew Ellul & Merih Sevilir, 2015. "Access to Public Capital Markets and Employment Growth," CSEF Working Papers 399, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    6. Renneboog, Luc & Vansteenkiste, Cara, 2017. "Leveraged Buyouts : A Survey of the Literature," Discussion Paper 2017-015, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. Sang V Nguyen & Robert H Mcguckin, 1995. "Exploring The Role Of Acquisition In The Performance Of Firms: Is The "Firm" The Right Unit Of Analysis?," Working Papers 95-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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    Keywords

    CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

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