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Corporate Spin-Offs, Bankruptcy, Investment, and the Value of Debt


  • Hennessy, David A.


In a risk-neutral stochastic environment where bankruptcy is possible, it is well-established that coinsurance incentives may lead creditors to prefer mergers over spin-offs, while shareholders may prefer spin-offs. This paper shows that there are two distinct reasons for this. One is due to the concavity of the debt payoff function in the face value of the debt, while the other arises from imperfect covariation in ultimate firm values. For the latter reason, conventional measures of covariation are not sufficient to evaluate the impact on ex-ante debt value. Also considered are the effects of mergers and spin-offs on investment decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Hennessy, David A., 2000. "Corporate Spin-Offs, Bankruptcy, Investment, and the Value of Debt," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1898, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:1898

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Galai, Dan & Masulis, Ronald W., 1976. "The option pricing model and the risk factor of stock," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 53-81.
    2. Jerry R. Skees & J. Roy Black & Barry J. Barnett, 1997. "Designing and Rating an Area Yield Crop Insurance Contract," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 430-438.
    3. Scott, James H, Jr, 1977. "On the Theory of Conglomerate Mergers," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1235-1250, September.
    4. Higgins, Robert C & Schall, Lawrence D, 1975. "Corporate Bankruptcy and Conglomerate Merger," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(1), pages 93-113, March.
    5. Larry G. Epstein & Stephen M. Tanny, 1980. "Increasing Generalized Correlation: A Definition and Some Economic Consequences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(1), pages 16-34, February.
    6. Boland, Philip J. & Proschan, Frank, 1988. "Multivariate arrangement increasing functions with applications in probability and statistics," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 286-298, May.
    7. Saman Majd & Stewart C. Myers, 1987. "Tax Asymmetries and Corporate Income Tax Reform," NBER Chapters,in: Taxes and Capital Formation, pages 93-96 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
    9. Berger, Philip G. & Ofek, Eli, 1995. "Diversification's effect on firm value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 39-65, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hennessy, David A. & Saak, Alexander E. & Babcock, Bruce A., 2003. "Fair Value Of Whole-Farm And Crop-Specific Revenue Insurance," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 21988, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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