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The Defeasance of Control Rights




We analyze one frequently used clause in public bonds called covenant defeasance. Covenant defeasance allows the bond issuer to remove all of the bond's covenants by placing the remaining outstanding payments with a trustee in an escrow account to be paid out on schedule. Bond covenants are predominantly noncontingent, action-limiting covenants. By giving the issuer an option to remove covenants, noncontingent control rights can be made state-contingent even when no interim signals are available. We provide a theoretical justi cation for covenant defeasance and show empirically that such a clause allows for the inclusion of more covenants in public bond issues. In line with the model's prediction, our empirical analysis documents a 13-25 basis points premium for defeasible bonds. This premium amounts to an annual saving of about $1m per year, or $11m over the lifetime of an average bond.

Suggested Citation

  • Bienz, Carsten & Faure-Grimaud, Antoine & Fluck, Zsuzsanna, 2011. "The Defeasance of Control Rights," Discussion Papers 2011/1, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2011_001

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    1. Rafal Weron & Adam Misiorek, 2005. "Modeling and forecasting electricity loads: A comparison," Econometrics 0502004, EconWPA.
    2. Olsen, Ole Jess & Amundsen, Eirik S. & Donslund, Bjarne, 2006. "How to play the game as the bridge between two European power markets--the case of Western Denmark," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 3293-3304, November.
    3. Hjalmarsson, Erik, 2000. "Nord Pool: A Power Market Without Market Power," Working Papers in Economics 28, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    4. Rafal Weron, 2006. "Modeling and Forecasting Electricity Loads and Prices: A Statistical Approach," HSC Books, Hugo Steinhaus Center, Wroclaw University of Technology, number hsbook0601, June.
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    More about this item


    Bonds; Covenants; Defeasance; Renegotiation;

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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