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Concentration of control rights in leveraged loan syndicates

Mitchell Berlin, Greg Nini and Edison G. Yu

Journal of Financial Economics, 2020, vol. 137, issue 1, 249-271

Abstract: We find that corporate loan contracts frequently concentrate control rights with a subset of lenders. Despite the rise in term loans without financial covenants—so-called covenant-lite loans—borrowing firms’ revolving lines of credit almost always retain traditional financial covenants. This split structure gives revolving lenders the exclusive right and ability to monitor and to renegotiate the financial covenants, and we confirm that loans with split control rights are still subject to the discipline of financial covenants. We provide evidence that split control rights are designed to mitigate bargaining frictions that have arisen with the entry of nonbank lenders and became apparent during the financial crisis.

Keywords: Covenant; Cov-lite; Institutional loans; Control rights; Credit agreements (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G21 G23 G29 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2020.02.002

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:137:y:2020:i:1:p:249-271