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Capital Structure: Overview of the Financing Decision. 05/12/08 Ch. 7. Corporate finance decisions revisited. Corporate finance consists of three major decisions: Investment decision The financing decision Where do firms raise the funds for value-creating investments?

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corporate finance decisions revisited
Corporate finance decisions revisited
  • Corporate finance consists of three major decisions:
    • Investment decision
    • The financing decision
      • Where do firms raise the funds for value-creating investments?
      • What mix of owner’s money (equity) or borrowed money(debt) should the firm use?
    • Dividend decision
measuring a firm s financing mix
Measuring a firm’s financing mix
  • The simplest measure of how much debt and equity a firm is using currently is to look at the proportion of debt in the total financing. This ratio is called the debt to capital ratio (or simply the debt ratio):

Debt to Capital Ratio = Debt / (Debt + Equity)

  • Debt includes all interest bearing liabilities, short term as well as long term.
  • Equity can be defined either in accounting terms (as book value of equity) or in market value terms (based upon the current price). The resulting debt ratios can be very different.
debt versus equity
Debt versus Equity
  • The differences between debt and equity lies in the nature of the stakeholders’ claims on the firm’s cash flows, tax treatment, maturity and voting power
equity choices for private firms
Equity choices for private firms
  • Private firms have fewer choices for raising equity capital
  • Owner’s Equity
    • Retention and plow back of company’s earnings
    • Similar in nature to retained earnings of a public company in terms of taxability, residual claim, management control
equity choices for private firms6
Equity choices for private firms
  • Venture Capitalist
    • VCs provide equity financing to small and risky businesses in return for a share in ownership of the firm
    • VC ownership is a function of
      • Capital contribution
      • Financing options available to the business
    • VC provides
      • Managerial and organizational skills
      • Credibility of venture to potential capital providers
equity choices for public firms
Equity choices for public firms
  • The public firm has more alternatives for raising equity
  • Common Stock
    • Initial public offerings (IPOs) – raising equity capital publicly for the first time
    • Seasoned equity offerings (SEOs) – subsequent issues of common stock
equity choices for public firms8
Equity choices for public firms
  • Common Stock
    • Firms may issue common stock that is uniform in offering price and voting rights or;
    • Firms may create classes of shares to:
      • Create differential voting rights so that owners maintain control of the firm
      • Cater to different clientele that are in different tax brackets
    • Common stock issues tend to decline as a means of raising capital as the firm matures
equity choices for public firms9
Equity choices for public firms
  • Tracking stock
    • Stock issued against specific assets or portions of the firm
    • May allow investors to buy portions of a firm that have the greatest potential
    • Typically do not provide investors with voting rights
equity choices for public firms10
Equity choices for public firms
  • Warrants
    • Provides investors with the option to buy equity at a fixed price in the future in return for paying for the warrants today
    • Can be attractive because
      • No immediate financial obligation to firm
      • No immediate dilution of ownership
debt financing options
Debt financing options
  • Bank debt
    • Borrowing from a bank at an interest rate charged by the bank based on the borrowing firm’s perceived risk
  • Advantages of bank debt (versus bonds):
    • Can be issued in small amounts
    • Allows firm to maintain proprietary information
    • Does not require being rated
debt financing options12
Debt financing options
  • Bonds
    • Borrowing from the public by issuing debt
  • Advantages of bonds
    • Typically carry more favorable terms than bank debt
    • Allows issuers to add on special features
  • When issuing bonds, firms have to make a variety of choices including maturity, fixed or floating interest payment, secured or unsecured.
debt financing options13
Debt financing options
  • Leasing
    • Firm (lessee) commits to making fixed payments to the owner (lessor) for the right to use the asset
    • Payments may be fully tax deductible
    • Provides firms with an alternative to buying capital assets
debt financing options14
Debt financing options
  • Leasing
    • Operating lease
      • Shorter term
      • present value of the lease payments is generally much lower than the price of asset
      • Ownership resides with the lessor
      • Lease expense is treated as an operating expense
      • Off-balance sheet financing
    • Capital lease
      • Lasts the lifetime of the asset
      • Lessee is responsible for insurance and taxes on the asset
      • For tax purposes, capital leases are equivalent to borrowing and buying the asset, consequently, depreciation and interest expense are shown as expenses on the income statement
debt financing options15
Debt financing options
  • Leasing
    • Reasons provided for leasing
      • Firm has insufficient borrowing capacity
      • Bond covenants restrict firms from taking on more conventional debt
      • Operating leases tend to provide firms with greater profitability ratios since operating expense will typically be lower than if the asset was purchased and the lease is not included as part of the firm’s capital
      • Differential tax rates – an entity with a higher tax rate will benefit more from buying the asset. This high-tax entity can then lease the asset to a lower / no tax entity and can share the tax benefits
debt financing options16
Debt financing options
  • Leasing
    • The decision to lease or borrow/buy should be based on the incremental after-tax cash flows
    • Operating lease cash flows:

Lease payments * (1 – t)

debt financing options17
Debt financing options
  • Leasing
    • Borrow/Buy cash outflows
      • Interest expense (after tax)
      • Principal payments (non-tax deductible)
      • Maintenance expenses (after tax)
    • Borrow/Buy cash inflows
      • Depreciation tax benefit (t*Depreciation)
      • Salvage value (after tax)
debt financing options18
Debt financing options
  • Leasing
    • The net advantage to leasing

NPV of lease option – NPV of buy option

Where cash flows are discounted at the after tax cost of debt since both represent borrowing alternatives and cash flows are calculated on an after-tax basis

hybrid securities
Hybrid securities
  • Financing choices that have characteristics of both debt and equity are referred to as hybrid securities
hybrid securities20
Hybrid securities
  • Convertible debt
    • Can be converted by the bondholder to a predetermined number of shares of common stock
    • The conversion option:
      • Conversion ratio = number of shares for which each bond may be exchanged
      • Conversion value = current value of shares for which the bonds can be exchanged
      • Conversion premium = excess of bond price over conversion value
hybrid securities21
Hybrid securities
  • Convertible debt
    • Reasons for issuing convertible debt
      • Investors will require a lower required return, thus allowing firms to set a lower coupon rate
        • Particularly useful for high-growth companies
      • Reduces the conflict between equity and bond holders
hybrid securities22
Hybrid securities
  • Preferred stock
    • Generates fixed payment obligations by the firm
    • Cost more to raise than debt
    • Reasons for issue
      • Analysts and rating agencies treat preferred stock as equity for calculating leverage
  • We now look at the distinction between internal and external financing and the factors that affect how much firms draw on each source and how firms decide between their external financing choices.
  • Internal Financing – funds raised from cash flows of existing assets
  • External Financing – funds raised from outside the company (VC, debt, equity, etc.)
internal vs external financing
Internal vs. External Financing
  • Firms may prefer internal financing because
    • External financing is difficult to raise
    • External financing may result in loss of control
    • Raising external capital tends to be expensive
  • Projects funded by internal financing must meet same hurdle rates
  • Internal financing is limited
process of raising capital
Process of raising capital
  • Private firm expansion
  • From private to public firm: The IPO
  • Choices for a public firm
vc process
VC process
  • Provoke equity investors’ interest
    • There is an imbalance between the number of small firms that desire VC investment and the number of VCs
    • Firms need to distinguish themselves from others to obtain VC funding
    • Type of business
      • in the 90s, bio-tech firms this decade
    • Successful management
vc process28
VC process
  • Perform valuation and return assessment (Venture capital method)
    • Estimate earnings in the year the company is expected to go public
    • Obtain a P/E multiple for public firms in the same industry

Exit or Terminal Value = P/E multiple * forecasted earnings

    • Discount this terminal value at the VC’s target rate of return

Discounted Terminal Value = Estimated exit value

(1 + target return)n

vc process29
VC process
  • Structure the deal
    • Determine the proportion of firm value that VC will get in return for investment

Ownership Proportion = Capital Provided

Disc. Exit Value

    • VC will establish constraints on how the managers run the firm
vc process30
VC process
  • Participate in post-deal management
    • VCs provide managerial experience and contacts for additional fund raising efforts
  • Exit
    • VCs generate a return on their investment by exiting the investment.
    • They can do so through
      • An initial public offering
      • Selling the business to another firm
      • Withdrawing firm cash flows and liquidating the firm
vc process31
VC process
  • Stages of Venture Capital Investments
    • Seed financing is capital provided at the “idea” stage.
    • Start-up financing is capital used in product development.
    • First-stage financing is capital provided to initiate manufacturing and sales.
    • Second-stage financing is for initial expansion.
    • Third-stage financing allows for major expansion.
    • Mezzanine financing prepares the company to go public.
going public vs staying private
Going public vs. staying private
  • The benefits of going public are:
    • Firms can access financial markets and tap into a much larger source of capital
    • Owners can cash in on their investments
  • The costs of going public are:
    • Loss of control
    • Information disclosure requirements
    • Exchange listing requirements
initial public offering ipo process
Initial Public Offering (IPO) process
  • Most public offerings are made with the assistance of investment bankers (IBs) which are financial intermediaries that specialize in selling new securities and advising firms with regard to major financial transactions.
ipo process
IPO process
  • The role of the investment banker
    • Origination - design of a security contract that is acceptable to the market;
      • prepare the state and federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration statements and a summary prospectus,
    • Underwriting-the risk-bearing function in which the IB buys the securities at a given price and turns to the market to sell them.
      • Syndicates are formed to reduce the inventory risk.
    • Sales and distribution-selling quickly reduces inventory risk. Firm members of the syndicate and a wider selling group distribute the securities over a wide retail and institutional area.
ipo process36
IPO process
  • IPO costs
    • Underwriting commission (usually around 7%)
    • Underpricing of issue
      • Represents the first day returns generated by the firm, calculated as

Closing Price – Offer price

Offer price

      • Issues are underpriced to
        • Provide investors with a “good taste” about the investment banker and firm
        • Compensate investors for the information asymmetry between firm and investor
ipo process37
IPO process
  • Valuing the company and setting issue details
    • Investment banker and firm need to determine
      • Value of company
        • Valuation is typically done using P/E multiples
      • Size of the issue
      • Value per share
      • Offering price per share
        • This will tend to be below the value per share, i.e., the offer will be underpriced
ipo process38
IPO process
  • Determining the offer price
    • The investment banker will gauge the level of interest from institutional investors for the issue by conducting road shows. This is referred to as building the book.
  • After the offer price and issue details are set, and the SEC has approved the registration, the firm places a tombstone advertisement in newspapers, that outlines the details of the issue and the investment bankers involved
ipo process39
IPO process
  • Waiting period – The period between the submission of the registration to the SEC and the SEC’s approval. It is during this time that the company releases the red herring
  • Quiet period – a period after the registration is submitted until approximately a month after the issue where the company cannot comment on the earnings, prospects for the company
  • Lock-up period – a period of usually 6 months following the issue date in which the insiders of the company cannot sell their shares
choices for a publicly traded firm
Choices for a publicly traded firm
  • General subscription (or Seasoned Equity Offering)
  • Private placements
  • Rights offerings
general subscription seo
General subscription (SEO)
  • Although for IPOs the underwriting agreement almost always involves a firm guarantee from the underwriter to purchase all of the issue, in secondary offerings, the underwriting agreement may be a best efforts guarantee where the underwriter sells as much of the issue as he can
  • SEOs tend to have lower underwriting commissions because of IB competition.
  • The issuing price of an SEO tends to be set slightly lower than the current market price
private placement
Private placement
  • Securities are sold directly to one or few investors
  • Saves on time and cost (no registration requirements, marketing needs)
  • Tends to be less common with corporate equity issues. Private placement is used more in corporate bond issues.
rights offerings
Rights offerings
  • Existing investors are provided the right to purchase additional shares in proportion to their current holdings at a price (subscription price) below current market price (rights-on price)
  • Each existing share is provided one right.
  • The number of rights required to purchase a share in the rights offering is then determined by the number of shares outstanding and the additional shares to be issued in the rights offering.

rights required to purchase one share = # of original shares

# of shares issued in RO

rights offerings44
Rights offerings
  • Because investors can purchase shares at a lower price, the rights have value:

Value of the right = rights-on price – subscription price

n + 1

where n = number of rights required for each new share

  • Because additional shares are issued at a price below market price, the market price will drop after the rights offering to the ex-rights price

ex-rights price = New value of equity

New number of shares

  • The value (or price) of the right can also be calculated as:

rights-on price – ex-rights price

rights offerings45
Rights offerings
  • Costs are lower because of
    • Lower underwriting commissions – rights offerings tend to be fully subscribed
    • Marketing and distribution costs are significantly lower
  • No dilution of ownership
  • No transfer of wealth
the financing mix question
The financing mix question
  • In deciding to raise financing for a business, is there an optimal mix of debt and equity?
    • If yes, what is the trade off that lets us determine this optimal mix?
    • If not, why not?
costs and benefits of debt
Costs and benefits of debt
  • Benefits of Debt
    • Tax Benefits
    • Adds discipline to management
  • Costs of Debt
    • Bankruptcy Costs
    • Agency Costs
    • Loss of Future Flexibility
tax benefits of debt
Tax benefits of debt
  • Interest paid on debt is tax deductible, whereas cash flows to equity have to be paid out of after-tax cash flows.
  • The dollar tax benefit from the interest payment in any year is a function of your tax rate and the interest payment:

Tax benefit each year = Tax Rate * Interest Payment

the effects of taxes
The effects of taxes

You are comparing the debt ratios of real estate corporations, which pay the corporate tax rate, and real estate investment trusts, which are not taxed, but are required to pay 95% of their earnings as dividends to their stockholders. Which of these two groups would you expect to have the higher debt ratios?

 The real estate corporations

 The real estate investment trusts

 Cannot tell, without more information

implications of the tax benefit of debt
Implications of the tax benefit of debt
  • The debt ratios of firms with higher tax rates should be higher than the debt ratios of comparable firms with lower tax rates.
  • Firms that have substantial non-debt tax shields, such as depreciation, should be less likely to use debt than firms that do not have these tax shields.
  • If tax rates increase over time, we would expect debt ratios to go up over time as well, reflecting the higher tax benefits of debt.
  • We would expect debt ratios in countries where debt has a much larger tax benefit to be higher than debt ratios in countries whose debt has a lower tax benefit.
debt adds discipline to management
Debt adds discipline to management
  • Free cash flow (or cash flow to equity) represents cash flow from operations after all obligations have been paid.
  • It represents cash flow for which management has discretionary spending power.
  • Without discipline, management may make wasteful investments with free cash flow because they do not bear any costs for making these investments.
  • Forcing firms with free cash flow to borrow money can be an antidote to managerial complacency.
  • Empirical evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that increasing debt improves firm performance.
debt and discipline
Debt and discipline

Assume that you buy into this argument that debt adds discipline to management. Which of the following types of companies will most benefit from debt adding this discipline?

 Conservatively financed (very little debt), privately owned businesses

 Conservatively financed, publicly traded companies, with stocks held by millions of investors, none of whom hold a large percent of the stock.

 Conservatively financed, publicly traded companies, with an activist and primarily institutional holding.

bankruptcy cost
Bankruptcy cost
  • Bankruptcy is when a firm is unable to meet its contractual commitments.
  • The expected bankruptcy cost is a function of two variables--
    • the cost of going bankrupt
      • direct costs: Legal and other administrative costs (1-5% of asset value)
      • indirect costs: Costs arising because people perceive you to be in financial trouble – loss of revenue, stricter supplier terms, capital raising difficulties
    • the probability of bankruptcy, which is a function of the size of operating cash flows relative to debt obligations and the variance in operating cash flows
  • As you borrow more, you increase the probability of bankruptcy and hence the expected bankruptcy cost.
indirect bankruptcy costs should be highest for
Indirect bankruptcy costs should be highest for….
  • Firms that sell durable products with long lives that require replacement parts and service
  • Firms producing products whose value to customers depends on the services and complementary products supplied by independent companies
the bankruptcy cost proposition and implications
The bankruptcy cost proposition and implications
  • Proposition:
    • Other things being equal, the greater the indirect bankruptcy cost and/or probability of bankruptcy in the operating cash flows of the firm, the less debt the firm can afford to use.
  • Implications:
    • Firms operating in businesses with volatile earnings and cash flows should use debt less than otherwise similar firms with stable cash flows.
    • Firms with assets that can be easily divided and sold should borrow more than firms with assets that are less liquid.
agency cost conflict between stockholder and bondholder
Agency cost (conflict between stockholder and bondholder)
  • When you lend money to a business, you are allowing the stockholders to use that money in the course of running that business. Stockholders interests are different from your interests, because
    • You (as lender) are interested in getting your money back
    • Stockholders are interested in maximizing their wealth
agency cost conflict between stockholder and bondholder57
Agency cost (conflict between stockholder and bondholder)
  • In some cases, the conflict of interests can lead to stockholders
    • Investing in riskier projects than you would want them to
    • Paying themselves large dividends when you would rather have them keep the cash in the business.
agency cost proposition
Agency cost proposition
  • Other things being equal, the greater the agency problems associated with lending to a firm, the less debt the firm can afford to use.
what firms are most affected by agency cost
What firms are most affected by agency cost?
  • Agency costs will tend to be the greatest in firms whose investments cannot be easily monitored or observed
  • Agency costs will tend to be the greatest for firms whose projects are long-term, unpredictable or will take years to come to fruition.
how agency costs show up
How agency costs show up...
  • If bondholders believe there is a significant chance that stockholder actions might make them worse off, they can build this expectation into bond prices by demanding much higher rates on debt.
  • If bondholders can protect themselves against such actions by writing in restrictive covenants, two costs follow –
    • the direct cost of monitoring the covenants
    • the indirect cost of lost investments
loss of future financing flexibility
Loss of future financing flexibility
  • When a firm borrows up to its capacity, it loses the flexibility of financing future projects with debt.
  • Financing Flexibility Proposition:
    • Other things remaining equal, the more uncertain a firm is about its future financing requirements and projects, the less debt the firm will use for financing current projects.
what managers consider important in deciding on how much debt to carry
What managers consider important in deciding on how much debt to carry...
  • A survey of Chief Financial Officers of large U.S. companies provided the following ranking (from most important to least important) for the factors that they considered important in the financing decisions

Factor Ranking (0-5)

1. Maintain financial flexibility 4.55

2. Ensure long-term survival 4.55

3. Maintain Predictable Source of Funds 4.05

4. Maximize Stock Price 3.99

5. Maintain financial independence 3.88

6. Maintain high debt rating 3.56

7. Maintain comparability with peer group 2.47

debt summarizing the trade off
Debt: Summarizing the Trade Off

Advantages of Borrowing

Disadvantages of Borrowing

1. TaxBenefit:

1. Bankruptcy Cost:

Higher tax rates --> Higher tax benefit

Higher business risk --> Higher Cost

2. Added Discipline:

2. Agency Cost:

Greater the separation between managers

Greater the separation between stock-

and stockholders --> Greater the benefit

holders & lenders --> Higher Cost

3. Loss of Future Financing Flexibility:

Greater the uncertainty about future

financing needs --> Higher Cost

a qualitative analysis of the firm s debt ratio
A qualitative analysis of the firm’s debt ratio
  • Tax benefits:
    • What is the firm’s tax rate?
    • Does the company have substantial tax shields?
  • Discipline:
    • Does management own shares?
    • Does the firm have significant free cash flows?
  • Bankruptcy:
    • How volatile are the firm’s earnings and cash flows?
    • How liquid and divisible are the firm’s assets?
    • How would you assess the firm’s indirect bankruptcy costs (perception of the consumer)?
  • Agency:
    • Are the firm’s investments easily monitored?
    • Are the investments short term or long term?
  • Financial Flexibility:
    • What stage of life cycle is the firm in?
how do firms set their financing mixes
How do firms set their financing mixes?
  • Life Cycle: Some firms choose a financing mix that reflects where they are in the life cycle; start- up firms use more equity, and mature firms use more debt.
  • Comparable firms: Many firms seem to choose a debt ratio that is similar to that used by comparable firms in the same business.
  • Financing Heirarchy: Firms also seem to have strong preferences on the type of financing used, with retained earnings being the most preferred choice. They seem to work down the preference list, rather than picking a financing mix directly.
comparable firms
Comparable firms
  • When we look at the determinants of the debt ratios of individual firms, the strongest determinant is the average debt ratio of the industries to which these firms belong.
  • This is not inconsistent with the existence of an optimal capital structure. If firms within a business share common characteristics (high tax rates, volatile earnings etc.), you would expect them to have similar financing mixes.
rationale for financing hierarchy
Rationale for financing hierarchy
  • Managers value flexibility. External financing reduces flexibility more than internal financing.
  • Managers value control. Issuing new equity weakens control and new debt creates bond covenants.
preference rankings results of a survey
Preference rankings : Results of a survey





Retained Earnings



Straight Debt



Convertible Debt



External Common Equity



Straight Preferred Stock



Convertible Preferred