Article | Journal of Financial Economics | October 1990

Troubled Debt Restructurings: An Empirical Analysis of Private Reorganization of Firms in Default

by S. C. Gilson, J. Kose and L. H. P. Kang

Abstract

This study investigates the incentives of financially distressed firms to restructure their debt privately rather than through formal bankruptcy. In a sample of 169 financially distressed companies, about half successfully restructure their debt outside of Chapter 11. Firms more likely to restructure their debt privately have more intangible assets, owe more of their debt to banks, and owe fewer lenders. Analysis of stock returns suggests that the market is also able to discriminate ex ante between the two sets of firms, and that stockholders are systematically better off when debt is restructured privately.

Keywords: Theory; Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Restructuring;

Citation:

Gilson, S. C., J. Kose, and L. H. P. Kang. "Troubled Debt Restructurings: An Empirical Analysis of Private Reorganization of Firms in Default." Journal of Financial Economics 27, no. 2 (October 1990): 315–353.