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Does Corporate Governance Matter to Bondholders?

Mark Klock, Sattar A. Mansi and William F. Maxwell

Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 2005, vol. 40, issue 4, 693-719

Abstract: We examine the relation between the cost of debt financing and a governance index that contains various antitakeover and shareholder protection provisions. Using firm-level data from the Investors Research Responsibility Center for the period 1990–2000, we find that antitakeover governance provisions lower the cost of debt financing. Segmenting the data into firms with the strongest management rights (strongest antitakeover provisions) and firms with the strongest shareholder rights (weakest antitakeover provisions), we find that strong antitakeover provisions are associated with a lower cost of debt financing while weak antitakeover provisions are associated with a higher cost of debt financing, with a difference of about 34 basis points between the two groups. Overall, the results suggest that antitakeover governance provisions, although not beneficial to stockholders, are viewed favorably in the bond market.

Date: 2005
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