Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Firm Reputation and Cost of Debt Capital

Anginer, Deniz and Mansi, Sattar and Warburton, A. Joseph and Yildizhan, Celim (2011): Firm Reputation and Cost of Debt Capital.

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We examine the relation between firm reputation and the cost of debt financing. We posit that corporate reputation represents “soft information” not captured by balance sheet variables, which is nonetheless valuable to lenders. Using Fortune magazine’s survey of company reputation, we find an inverse relation between a company’s reputation and its bond credit spreads. We also find that firms with high reputation face less stringent covenants and are less likely to be the target of SEC fraud investigations. Further testing shows that bad reputation is a good ex ante predictor of corporate failure. Our study provides evidence that firm reputation is an important consideration in the pricing of corporate public debt.

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