Foundations and Trends in Finance, Forthcoming
109 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2013
Date Written: May 8, 2013
We survey the empirical literature on corporate financial restructuring, including breakup transactions (divestitures, spin-offs, equity carveouts, and tracking stocks), leveraged recapitalizations, and leveraged buyouts (LBOs). For each transaction type, we survey techniques, deal financing, transaction volume, valuation effects and potential sources of restructuring gains. Many breakup transactions are a response to excessive conglomeration and reverse costly diversification discounts. The empirical evidence shows that the typical restructuring creates substantial value for shareholders. The value-drivers include elimination of costly cross-subsidizations characterizing internal capital markets, reduction in financing costs for subsidiaries through asset securitization and increased divisional transparency, improved (and more focused) investment programs, reduction in agency costs of free cash flow, implementation of executive compensation schemes with greater pay-performance sensitivity, and increased monitoring by lenders and LBO sponsors. Buyouts after the turn of the century created value similar to LBOs of the 1980s. Recent developments include consortiums of private equity funds (club deals), exits through secondary buyouts (sale to another LBO fund), and evidence of persistence in fund returns. LBO deal financing has evolved towards lower leverage ratios. In Europe, recent deals are financed with less leveraged loans and mezzanine debt and more high-yield debt than before. Future research challenges include integrating analyses across transaction types and financing mixes, and producing unbiased estimates of the expected return from buyout investments in the presence of limited data on portfolio companies that do not return to public status.
Keywords: Restructuring, LBO, divestiture, spinoff, carveout
JEL Classification: G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation