Debt Covenant Violation, Competition and Cost of New Debt

Posted: 22 Apr 2019

Date Written: November 28, 2018


This article empirically shows that the cost of new debt is higher for firms that commit covenant violations. Using a proxy for product market competition to capture exogenous changes to a firm’s competitive environment, I find that the cost is systematically higher for firms that operate in competitive markets. Moreover, I identify channels through which violations can increase the cost of new debt, namely, the incidence, timing and frequency effects, and I document these effects to be more acute for competitive markets. Overall, the study finds that the market prices financial contracts by taking into account the information content of the violation and the risk arising from market competition.

Keywords: cost of debt, debt covenant violation, market competition

JEL Classification: G12, G30

Suggested Citation

Butt, Umar, Debt Covenant Violation, Competition and Cost of New Debt (November 28, 2018). Australian Journal of Management, Vol. 44, No. 2, 2019, Available at SSRN:

Umar Butt (Contact Author)

Zayed University ( email )

P.O. Box 4783
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

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