The Dynamics of Debtor-in-Possession Financing: Bankruptcy Resolution and the Role of Prior Lenders
39 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2000
Date Written: September 2000
Debtor-in-Possession (DIP) financing is a unique form of financing that is allowed to firms filing under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. The legal provisions confer enhanced seniority on this financing. It is argued that such financing leads to excessive investment in risky, (even negative NPV) projects. Defenders of DIP financing, on the other hand, argue that it allows funding for positive NPV projects. We examine this issue empirically. Using a large sample of bankruptcy filings, we find little evidence of systematic overinvestment by firms that obtain DIP financing. The firms receiving DIP financing are more likely to emerge successfully and, on average, spend a shorter time in bankruptcy reorganization than the firms that do not receive such financing. Further, we find that relationships are important. In particular, when a lender with a prior lending relationship with the borrower is also the DIP lender, it is more likely to finance smaller firms. These firms also have a significantly shorter reorganization period than firms that secure DIP financing from a new lender. Our results suggest a positive role for DIP financing, which is strengthened when it is combined with a prior lending relationship with the firm.
Keywords: Chapter 11, Bankruptcy, Debtor-in-Possession Financing
JEL Classification: G33, G20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation