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Optimal Debt Structure with Multiple Creditors

  • Patrick Bolton
  • David S Scharfstein

Within an optimal contracting framework we analyse some important aspects of debt structure: the number of creditors a company borrows from; the allocation of security interests among creditors; and inter-creditor covenants that govern renegotiation of debt contracts. The key to our analysis is the idea that debt structure affects the outcome of debt renegotiation following a default. Debt structures that lead to ineffecient renegotiation are beneficial in that they deter default, but they are also costly if default is beyond a manager's control. The optimal debt structure balances these effects. We characterize how the optimal debt structure depends on firm characteristics such as technology, credit rating and the market for its assets.

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Paper provided by European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ. in its series CEPR Financial Markets Paper with number 0032.

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Date of creation: Mar 1993
Date of revision:
Availability: in print
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprfm:0032
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