Superior Living How Can Using More Debt Essay

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Superior Living

How can using more debt impact a firm's capital structure?

The capital structure is comprised of debt and equity so inherently, any change to either will change the firm's capital structure. What is being proposed is that in advance of our IPO we will take on more debt. There are no universal truths as to what Wall Street might want to see in a capital structure, and for each firm the decision will be different, but it is important to understand what the changes to the company's capital structure mean. For the company, increasing debt increases the firm's leverage. The firm is therefore riskier, because more of the company's cash flows are dedicated to debt repayment or interest obligations. As such, there is less money left over for the firm's shareholders. However, once the fixed debt obligations are paid off, everything that is left over does go to the shareholders. As a result, for a successful firm, the ROE is going to be higher if the company has more debt in its capital structure (Loth, 2006).

The cost of debt is lower than the cost of equity, largely because the latter is subordinated to the former and therefore riskier. As a result, firms often prefer to take on some debt in order to lower their cost of capital. For some companies, however, having a lower cost of capital is not a major consideration and these companies may maintain a balance sheet with little or no debt. Ultimately, however, the company needs to strike a balance. Because debt is risky, having too much debt leaves the firm very susceptible to changes in its cash flows. Thus, only firms with very stable cash flows should have very high levels of debt. For other firms, such as ours, it is too dangerous to have too high a debt level, even though there are benefits to having some debt.

What are the tradeoffs between incremental IPO proceeds and debt financing?

The investment bankers believe that taking on more debt is a signal to the market that the firm is willing to become more aggressive, that is to say the firm is willing to take on more risk. This will generate more funds for the IPO. The firm will also have more funds available from the debt that it takes out. The downside of the debt is that it will add risk to the firm. The upside is that by taking out additional debt now, when the IPO comes through the firm may end up with the same capital structure as it currently does, because both debt and equity have been added. It is desirable to get more money in the IPO, but there is a tradeoff in that the company will have a higher level of risk.…

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Works Cited:

Loth, R. (2006). Evaluating a company's capital structure. Investopedia. Retrieved March 17, 2012 from http://www.investopedia.com/articles/basics/06/capitalstructure.asp#axzz1pI61aUrV

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