Creditor Control of Corporate Acquisitions
64 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2017 Last revised: 26 Jan 2020
Date Written: January 23, 2020
We examine the impact of creditor control rights on corporate acquisitions. Nearly 75% of private credit agreements restrict borrower acquisition decisions. Following a covenant violation, creditors use their bargaining power to tighten these restrictions and limit acquisition activity, particularly deals expected to earn negative announcement returns. Firms that do announce an acquisition while in violation of a covenant earn 1.8% higher stock returns, on average, and do not pursue less risky deals. We conclude that creditors use contractual rights and the loan renegotiation process to limit value-destroying acquisitions driven by managerial agency problems.
Keywords: acquisitions, control rights, corporate governance, covenant violations, creditors
JEL Classification: G21, G31, G32, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation