Information Opacity, Credit Risk, and the Design of Loan Contracts for Privates Firms
This paper examines the structure and cost of a large sample of bank loans to private firms. Compared to public firms, private firms are more informationally opaque and riskier. The results suggest that the design of a loan to a private firm is significantly different from that to a public firm. Bank loans to private firms are more likely to be by a sole lender, collateralized, and have sweep covenants than loans to public firms. The cost of borrowing is higher for a private firm than for a public firm, even after holding constant firm and loan characteristics.