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Category Archives: G3

Private Equity Buyouts and Strategic Acquisitions: An Analysis of Capital Investment and the Timing of Takeovers in the United States

By Anthony Melita   

This paper investigates how motivational differences between agents who execute private equity buyouts and those who execute strategic (corporate) acquisitions may influence the timing of capital investment via takeovers. This paper synthesizes prominent merger theories to inform macroeconomic variables that may drive acquisitions. I find a significant negative expected effect of volatility on capital investment via takeover for each buyer type, a negative expected effect from valuation multiples on capital investment from PE buyouts, and a positive expected effect from debt capacity (EBITDA-CAPEX) on capital investment from PE buyouts.

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Advisors: Professor Grace Kim | JEL Codes: G3, G34, G29

Determining the Drivers of Acquisition Premiums in Leveraged Buyouts

By Peter Noonan   

This thesis analyzes factors that determine acquisition premiums paid by private equity firms in public to private leveraged buyouts. Building off of established literature that models the acquisition premiums paid in corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&A), this paper considers factors that influence a private equity firm’s willingness to pay (referred to as reservation price) and the bargaining power dynamic between a target company and acquirer in leveraged buyouts. Specifically, multivariable regression analysis is used to quantify the impact of a target company’s trading multiple, profitability, stock price as a percentage of its annual high, and number of competitors, a private equity firm’s deal approach and payment method, and the financial market’s 10-year US Treasury yield and high-yield interest rates at the time a transaction was announced. A sample of 320 public to private leveraged buyout transactions completed from 2000 to 2020 is constructed to perform this paper’s regression analysis. Using 2008 as an inflection point, this thesis then applies the same regression model to the subperiods from 2000–2008 and from 2009–2020 to examine how these drivers have changed as a result of industry trends—increased competition, low interest rates, and new value creation investment strategies—as well as the 2008 financial crisis and US presidential election—two crucial events that caused tremendous change in the financial system and intense scrutiny of the private equity industry. From the same original transaction screen, a second sample of 659 transactions is used to perform a difference of acquisition premium means t-test to analyze how the absolute magnitude of leverage buyout acquisition premiums have changed across these two subperiods. The second sample consists of more transactions due the t-tests less data-demanding nature as a result of its fewer variables. Results of this paper’s baseline model suggest that acquisition premiums are driven by a target company’s…

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Advisors: Professor Ronald Leven, Professor Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: G3, G11, G34

Investigating Underpricing in Venture-Backed IPOs Using Statistical Techniques

By Michael Tan   

This paper concerns applying statistical methods to investigate under-pricing in VC-backed technology Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) since the great recession. In particular, firm, market, and IPO-specific variables were explored to determine if there were any significant relationships to under-pricing. The paper focused on the Bank Preference theory of under-pricing, where under-pricing is said to occur because investment banks running IPO processes are incentivized to under-price to decrease the risk that they will not be able to allocate all the issuance to price-sensitive public markets investors.

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Advisors: Professor Daniel Xu, Professor Shawn Santo, Professor Grace Kim| JEL Codes: G3, G33, G24

Where Did the Money Go? Impact of the ECB’s Corporate Sector Purchase Program on Eurozone Corporate Spending

By Tina Tian   

Slow corporate growth and a lack of corporate investment has plagued European markets for the past decade. As a response, the ECB began the Corporate Sector Purchase Program (CSPP) in 2016 to provide liquidity to corporate debt markets through bond purchases. Four years after the start of the program, this paper assesses its impact by looking at how companies spent this money on a micro level. In particular, it looks at the impact of long-term debt on five expenditures (fixed assets and R&D, cash balances, short-term debt, cash to shareholders, and share buybacks). We test these hypothesized expenditures based on financial statement panel data from a selection of European firms whose bonds were purchased by the ECB. The results show an increase in financial expenditures including cash balances and short-term debt and a decrease in productive investment expenditures such as fixed assets and R&D. This indicates a lack of efficacy of the corporate bond purchase program as excess liquidity provided by the ECB went towards eurozone companies refinancing existing debt rather than investing in growth ventures.

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Advisors: Professor Connel Fullenkamp, Professor Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: G3, O16, E58

Leverage and Varying Metrics of Firm Performance

By Preston Jiateng Huang

This paper sets out to examine the effect of leverage on company performance. Drawing on the methodology of key prior research, this study finds that leverage has a consistent negative effect on firm growth; by contrast, no such negative impact was found on return on equity. Importantly, such patterns hold throughout the entire period under study (1970-2017), during which several disruptive economic events have occurred. These results highlight the importance of selecting appropriate company performance measures when studying the effect of debt load on a firm as well as the misalignment of incentives for policymakers and company management. Other implications are also discussed.

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Advisor: Professor Kyle Jurado | JEL Codes: G24; G31; G32

Deterring Ineffcient Gambling in Risk-Taking Agents

By Ryan Westphal

This paper proposes a model describing the incentive issues faced by prin-
cipals and agents when the agent has limited liability and is capable of un-
dertaking unidentifiable, inefficient risky behavior. We propose a contract
structure by which the principal deters risk by deferring payment to the
agent until she reaches an absorbing steady-state in which promised equity
alone deters inefficient behavior. The paper discusses the effect of exogenous
parameters on the tradeoffs facing the principal as well as the implications
they have on the efficient choice of contract. We also outline extensions to
the model in which the principal has access to a costly monitoring technology
to identify inefficient risk taking. The theoretical results have implications
for real-world employment contracts and practices in financial firms such as
investment banks and private equity funds.

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Advisor: Curtis Taylor | JEL Codes: D82, D86, G32, L14 | Tagged: Contract Theory, Moral Hazard., Optimal Contracts, Risk Management

Understanding SME Finance: Determinants of Relationship Lending

By Sean Suk Hyun

Much of the existing literature in small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) finance surveys the impact of borrower and lender characteristics on firms’ credit availability, and it has already been established that there is a link between strong firm-bank relationship and higher level of credit availability. In this paper, I focus on what determines the strength of relationship, measured by length and exclusivity. In particular, I was able to build an original metric to gauge the strength of relationship using the inverse value of the number of financial institution that a firm deals with. Using a set of regressions, I confirm the existing theories that size of the firm and type of ownership matters. Small firms and sole proprietorships tend to have longer and more exclusive relationships, which implies their reliance on relationship lending. Firm owner characteristics are shown to be somewhat important, in that it serves as proxies for a given firm’s creditworthiness.

Honors Thesis

Advisor: Grace Kim, Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: G02, G21, G30, L14 | Tagged: Asymmetrical information, Credit Rationing, Relationship Lending, SME Finance

Corporate Financial Distress and Bankruptcy Prediction in North American Construction Industry

By Gang Li

This paper seeks to explore the application of Altman’s bankruptcy prediction model in the construction industry by measuring its percentage accuracy on a dataset consisting of 108 bankrupt & non-bankrupt firms selected across the timeline of 1985-2013. Another main goal this paper is to explore the predictive power of an expanded variable set tailored to the construction industry and compare the results. Specifically, this measuring process is done using machine learning algorithm based on scikit-learn library that transforms a raw .csv file into clean vectorized dataset. The algorithm provides various classifiers to cross-validate the training set, which produces mixed statistics that favors neither variable set but provides insight into the reliability of the non-linear classifiers.

Honors Thesis

Data Set

Advisor: Connel Fullenkamp | JEL Codes: C38, C5, G33, G34 | Tagged: Bankruptcy, Corporate, Discriminant Analysis, Distress, Machine Learning

The Impact of Macroeconomic Surprises on Mergers & Acquisitions for Real Estate Investment Trusts

By John Reid

This paper examines the impact of various macroeconomics and real estate specific surprises on M&A transactions involving Real Estate Investment Trust. The 2008 financial crisis drastically affected merger & acquisitions activity, especially within the real estate market. The number of M&A transactions involving Real Estate Investment Trusts were very volatile during this period of economic turmoil and it appeared that several economic factors contributed to changing patterns in M&A activity. Our study uses time series data to draw a connection between REIT-related M&A activity and quantifiable factors. From or results we find there to be a relationship between the macroeconomic environment and REIT-related M&A activity.

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JEL Codes: G10, G14, G34 | Tagged: Macroeconomic Surprises, Mergers & Acquisitions, Real Estate Investment Trust

The Hidden Costs of Central Bank Borrowing

By Shane Hunt

This paper explores a previously overlooked unintended consequence of a private bank accepting Central Bank loans as a lender of last resort. Applying the basic Markowitz Security Model, I explore the potential effect of a private bank accepting a Central Bank loan as a signal of increased risk of investment in that private bank to the private markets. Finding a possibility that private investors will charge a penalty risk premium for having sought Central Bank financing, I consider the effects of this premium in three different game theoretic scenarios, each with a different set of assumptions that could apply in different Economic settings. Depending on the specific environment, possible effects include dependence on Central Bank financing, bankruptcy, or an eventual return to the private financial markets for future funding.

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Advisor: Marjorie McElroy, Nir Jaimovich | JEL Codes: E58, G02, G21, G28, G32 | Tagged: Banking, Central Banking, Finance


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