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Conflicts of Interest and Market Illiquidity in Bankruptcy Auctions: Theory and Tests

  • PER STROMBERG

I develop and estimate a model of cash auction bankruptcy using data on 205 Swedish firms. The results challenge arguments that cash auctions, as compared to reorganizations, are immune to conflicts of interest between claimholders but lead to inefficient liquidations. I show that a sale of the assets back to incumbent management is a common bankruptcy outcome. Sale-backs are more likely when they favor the bank at the expense of other creditors. On the other hand, inefficient liquidations are frequently avoided through sale-backs when markets are illiquid, that is, when industry indebtedness is high and the firm has few nonspecific assets. Copyright The American Finance Association 2000.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago in its series CRSP working papers with number 459.

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  1. Bhattacharyya, Sugato & Singh, Rajdeep, 1999. "The resolution of bankruptcy by auction: allocating the residual right of design," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 269-294, December.
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  16. Eberhart, Allan C & Moore, William T & Roenfeldt, Rodney L, 1990. " Security Pricing and Deviations from the Absolute Priority Rule in Bankruptcy Proceedings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1457-69, December.
  17. Gilson, Stuart C. & John, Kose & Lang, Larry H. P., 1990. "Troubled debt restructurings*1: An empirical study of private reorganization of firms in default," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 315-353, October.
  18. 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.
  19. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. " The Benefits of Lending Relationships: Evidence from Small Business Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-37, March.
  20. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  21. Burkart, Mike, 1995. " Initial Shareholdings and Overbidding in Takeover Contests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1491-1515, December.
  22. Vojislav Maksimovic & Gordon Phillips, 1998. "Asset Efficiency and Reallocation Decisions of Bankrupt Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1495-1532, October.
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