Loan Syndication Structures and Price Collusion
50 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2018
Date Written: March 13, 2018
How does the organizational form of loan syndicates evolve and what are the effects on price collusion? We develop a novel measure of distance in lending expertise among syndicate lenders, and relate this novel measure to the organizational form of loan syndicates and loan pricing. Studying the U.S. syndicated loan market from 1989 to 2017, we find that the organizational form of loan syndicates significantly varies across our lender measure based on similar specializations in lending which we call syndicated distance. Large lead arrangers prefer to form close and concentrated syndicates by letting lenders with similar lending expertise into their syndicates and allocating those lenders higher loan shares. Analyzing loan pricing, we find that concentrated syndicates possess improved screening abilities, but collude on loan pricing. Consistent with Hatfield et al. (2017), we find however that price collusion of concentrated syndicates only occurs during periods of low market concentration. Our findings imply that both the organizational form of loan syndicates and the level of market concentration affect price collusion.
Keywords: Syndicated Loans, Loan Syndication Structure, Loan Pricing, Price Collusion
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