Asset Sales and Debt Capacity

41 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2004 Last revised: 30 Jun 2008

See all articles by Andrei Shleifer

Andrei Shleifer

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Robert W. Vishny

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: February 1991

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the link between asset sales end debt capacity. Asset sales are a common way far firms to raise cash, and so present an alternative to security issues for firms near financial distress. We argue that liquid assets -- those that can be resold at attractive terms -- are good candidates for debt finance because financial distress for firms with such assets is relatively inexpensive. We apply this logic to explain variation in debt capacity across industries and over the business cycle, as well as to the rise in U.S. corporate leverage in the 1980s.

Suggested Citation

Shleifer, Andrei and Vishny, Robert W., Asset Sales and Debt Capacity (February 1991). NBER Working Paper No. w3618. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=406042

Andrei Shleifer (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/~ashleife/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

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HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Robert W. Vishny

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

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Chicago, IL 60637
United States
312-702-2522 (Phone)
312-702-0118 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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