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Product market competition and the cost of bank loans: Evidence from state antitakeover laws

Maya Waisman

Journal of Banking & Finance, 2013, vol. 37, issue 12, 4721-4737

Abstract: The extant literature documents a positive relationship between a firm’s takeover vulnerability and its agency cost of debt. Using state antitakeover laws as an exogenous measure of variation in takeover vulnerability, I investigate whether product market competition has a disciplinary effect that can lower a firm’s cost of bank loans. After taking into account the industry composition of borrowers, I find that banks charge higher spreads to borrowers that are vulnerable to takeovers, but only in concentrated industries. In the absence of disciplinary competitive pressure, the effect of takeover vulnerability on the cost of bank loans is mitigated for larger firms, firms followed by analysts, firms with existing credit ratings, non-family firms, and for borrowers with shorter maturity loans or loans with covenants and collateral in place. Taken together, the results suggest that the effect of governance on the cost of financing is not homogenous across all industries, and that concentrated industry firms may need to use supplementary governance mechanisms to mitigate debt holder agency problems.

Keywords: Bank loans; Debt holder agency problems; Corporate governance; Product market competition; State antitakeover laws (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:37:y:2013:i:12:p:4721-4737