A firm changes its capital structure by issuing a large amount of debt and using the funds to repurchase shares. Its assets are unchanged.
- The firm and individual investors can borrow at the same rate and have the same tax rates.
- The firm's debt and shares are fairly priced and the shares are repurchased at the market price, not at a premium.
- There are no market frictions relating to debt such as asymmetric information or transaction costs.
- Shareholders wealth is measured in terms of utiliity. Shareholders are wealth-maximising and risk-averse. They have a preferred level of overall leverage. Before the firm's capital restructure all shareholders were optimally levered.
According to Miller and Modigliani's theory, which statement is correct?
Assume that there exists a perfect world with no transaction costs, no asymmetric information, no taxes, no agency costs, equal borrowing rates for corporations and individual investors, the ability to short the risk free asset, semi-strong form efficient markets, the CAPM holds, investors are rational and risk-averse and there are no other market frictions.
For a firm operating in this perfect world, which statement(s) are correct?
(i) When a firm changes its capital structure and/or payout policy, share holders' wealth is unaffected.
(ii) When the idiosyncratic risk of a firm's assets increases, share holders do not expect higher returns.
(iii) When the systematic risk of a firm's assets increases, share holders do not expect higher returns.
Select the most correct response:
Which of the following discount rates should be the highest for a levered company? Ignore the costs of financial distress.
One of Miller and Modigliani's (M&M's) important insights is that a firm's managers should not try to achieve a particular level of leverage in a world with zero taxes and perfect information since investors can make their own leverage. Therefore corporate capital structure policy is irrelevant since investors can achieve their own desired leverage at the personal level by borrowing or lending on their own.
This principal of 'home-made' or 'do-it-yourself' leverage can also be applied to other topics. Read the following statements to decide which are true:
(I) Payout policy: a firm's managers should not try to achieve a particular pattern of equity payout.
(II) Agency costs: a firm's managers should not try to minimise agency costs.
(III) Diversification: a firm's managers should not try to diversify across industries.
(IV) Shareholder wealth: a firm's managers should not try to maximise shareholders' wealth.
Which of the above statement(s) are true?
In Miller's 1977 article 'Debt and Taxes', he argues that interest tax shields are likely to benefit who? Note that this 1977 article is contrary to his past research findings with Modigliani (1958), modern textbooks and common practice by valuers.
Miller (1977) concludes that the benefits of interest tax shields are likely to benefit: