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Bidding in mandatory bankruptcy auctions: Theory and evidence

We analyze bidding incentives and present evidence on takeover premiums in mandatory Swedish bankruptcy auctions, where three-quarters of the firms are sold as going concerns. The bankrupt firms’ main creditors (banks) cannot bid in the auction and thus cannot directly influence the winning price. However, we find that the banks often finance bidders. We show that the optimal bid strategy for a bank-bidder coalition mimics a monopolist sales price, in effect getting around the institutional constraint on direct bank bidding. The final auction premium increases with a measure of the bank’s debt impairness observed at the beginning of the auction. Cross-sectional regressions with the auction premium as dependent variable support this prediction. There is no empirical support for the proposition that the auctions lead to fire-sale prices, where we use the number of bidders, the degree of industry-wide financial distress, and the business cycle as proxies for auction demand. Moreover, premiums in transactions where insiders repurchase the firm (salebacks) are on average indistinguishable from premiums in sales to company outsiders, which fails to support self-dealing arguments.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11250/164162
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Paper provided by Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2004/16.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 17 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2004_016
Contact details of provider: Postal: NHH, Department of Business and Management Science, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Phone: +47 55 95 92 93
Fax: +47 55 95 96 50
Web page: http://www.nhh.no/en/research-faculty/department-of-business-and-management-science.aspx
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  1. 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.
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  7. Singh, Rajdeep, 1998. "Takeover Bidding with Toeholds: The Case of the Owner's Curse," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(4), pages 679-704.
  8. Betton, Sandra & Eckbo, B Espen, 2000. "Toeholds, Bid Jumps, and Expected Payoffs in Takeovers," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 841-82.
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  12. Berkovitch, Elazar & Israel, Ronen & Zender, Jaime F., 1997. "Optimal bankruptcy law and firm-specific investments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 487-497, April.
  13. Klemperer, Paul, 1999. " Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 227-86, July.
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  15. Per Stromberg, . "Conflicts of Interest and Market Illiquidity in Bankruptcy Auctions: Theory and Tests," CRSP working papers 459, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  16. Eckbo, B Espen & Maksimovic, Vojislav & Williams, Joseph, 1990. "Consistent Estimation of Cross-Sectional Models in Event Studies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(3), pages 343-65.
  17. Michael J. Fishman, 1988. "A Theory of Preemptive Takeover Bidding," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 88-101, Spring.
  18. Weiss, Lawrence A., 1990. "Bankruptcy resolution: Direct costs and violation of priority of claims," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 285-314, October.
  19. Julian R. Franks & Kjell G. Nyborg & Walter N. Torous, 1996. "A Comparison of UK, US and German Insolvency Codes," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 25(3), Fall.
  20. Dahiya, Sandeep & John, Kose & Puri, Manju & Ramirez, Gabriel, 2003. "Debtor-in-possession financing and bankruptcy resolution: Empirical evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 259-280, July.
  21. Brown, David T, 1989. "Claimholder Incentive Conflicts in Reorganization: The Role of Bankruptcy Law," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(1), pages 109-23.
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