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Capital Structure: Modigliani & Miller’s Theory

Paper outline

Reasons why Modigliani & Miller’s propositions were initially misunderstood
Consequences of M&M propositions

Optimal capital structure

Assumptions of M&M theory
Effects of financial distress costs and agency costs on M&M theory
Alpha Corporation and Beta Corporation

Capital Structure

Reasons why Modigliani & Miller’s propositions were initially misunderstood
Modigliani and Miller’s propositions were initially misunderstood because of the irrelevance of the propositions that were proving to be irrelevant, still raising hackles in academic circles. The criticism revolving M&M’s failure to recognize the greater importance of adhering to taxes among other issues like incurring costs of in hiring lawyers in times of bankruptcy is expected.
Most people could not understand how exactly preposition 1 on M&M functioned. This sates that the form of the value of a firm is independent of its capital structure(capital structure being the equity funded or debt funded business) Traditionally, people knew that the mode of financing a business matters a lot when it comes raising capital. Equity ratio and debt are the main financing formulae that in most cases, mangers use them to finance their businesses, usually mixing them in a given ration to maximize on investments and minimize risks as much as possible.
M&M preposition also failed to give the remedy and its statement of noting matters. At least it could have given or shed light on what does. Failing to do so also got managers more confused about the whole thing in general. Its assumption of perfect market also gave way to more questions than answers since the market is not perfect so to speak.
In addition, when bankers have the intention of increasing capital, M&M is not obliged to incur cost of investment bankers. It is however important to state that some practice is expected to be adhered to as a benchmark when crafting economic models (Parrino & Kidwell, 2009).
Consequences of M&M propositions
Modigliani-Miller theory has an impact on the nature of capital markets in the global markets. The amount of impact that the M&M theorem has on the capital markets is measured by its impact on the advantage of any organization. It can be misinterpreted in practical scenarios which may provide the notion of endless financial leverage.
It is very hard indeed to try to figure out by how much has the theorem has had an impact on any institution, in this matter, the financial markets. It is a notion that has made many firms to use leverage to finance their capital needs. This might only focus on unlimited use of financial leverage without bearing in mind the costs that are associated to these leverages.
The issues of dividend payment also play an important role in M&M theorem arbitrage. How exactly to pay dividends within the framework of M&M is the main problem. Invariance preposition, which is stated as “The dividend invariance proposition stated only that, given the firm’s investment decision, its dividend decision would have no effect on the value of the shares” (Eckbo, 2008).,
The application should be based on understanding the impacts brought about by relaxing the assumptions. The M&M theorem is valued depending on how the assumptions are violated, rather than basing the value on the results obtained as well as how the theory is applied (Eckbo, 2008).
Optimal Capital Structure
Optimal capital structure will only be attained if the conditions of M&M are met or at least meet some. The fact that there is no perfect market in financial markets makes it hard for them to be optimal but try as much as possible. Not to be perfect in this sense but try and improve their future cash flows and ensuring that they service the debt fully and within set time This will ensure that the firms assets are not repossessed by the financier and being declared bankrupt in the process. Finance capital structure is defined as the manner in which corporate organization finance their assets by combining equity, debt or by combining the two aspects.
Capital structure being the a combination of debt and equity by a given company, should be done in a way that the mangers have the interests of the future firms cash flows. The firm should pay the firms debt and provide future capital for further expansion in the long run. Therefore, it is up to the management to come up with the best combination of the two forms of financing. Again, it must meet the assumption for it to attain optimum capital structure
The relevance of capital structure has been under question when it comes to perfectly competitive markets. This has been due to the fact that attaining a perfect market condition is largely an ideal. Some of the conditions it should meet include: firms and individuals can borrow at the same interest rate; no taxes; and Investment decisions are not affected by financing decisions (Crouhy, Galai & Mark, 2006).
Assumptions of M&M theory

Perfect Markets: this means there are many players in the market i.e. many lenders and many firms that can borrow finances from the many financers and everyone has the perfect information. This will facilitate easy trade between the partnes I.e. The capital market is perfect
Single interest rate.

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee cannot manipulate the price of treasury bonds and management cannot force prices upwards with stock buybacks. Companies never lie and provide complete and full information at all times. Corporate profits can be predicted with confidence for one hundred years or more.

Free Transactions: There are no brokerage fees, dealer spreads, transfer taxes, or other transaction costs. Presumably, there would be no brokers, since there are no fees for intermediation. There also would be no stock exchanges or clearinghouses (Focardi, Frank & Fabozzi, 2004). Tax Neutrality:
There is no tax on capital gains. It is evident that laws relating to corporate tax are give higher benefits to debt financing (usually the positive aspects outdo risks) as opposed to their favor towards equity financing.  This will mean more fund to finance the project at hand. Corporate and personal taxes do influence capital structures (Herbst, 2010).

Effects of financial distress costs and agency costs on M&M theory
Corporate tax determines capital structure. There is a difference in the tax treatment of dividends to common shareholders and interest paid to bondholders, at the corporate level. Because interest expense is deductible from corporate income while dividends are not, bond financing leads to a “tax subsidy” to the firm. The trade-off theory provides that firms are seeking debt levels, which can balance the advantages in tax caused by an increase in debt because of costs of financial distress. It predicts moderate amount of debt as optimal (Correia, Flynn, Uliana, Wormald, 2007). But there is evidence that the most profitable firms in an industry tend to borrow the least, while their probability of entering in financial distress seems to be very low (Broyles, 2003).
High advantage tends to improve the efficiency of the managers, this will make investors to consider the issue of new debt in a favorable way, and therefore agency costs can come into play in different ways. This is the point where those vested in the management of the firm start to act in their own interests and the firms’ best interests. This might bring about conflict of interests.
Agency costs also add up to the firms costs. Where taxes are paid, it is tighter to get new debt from lenders since they will scrutinize the firm further. The lenders make sure that the management does not take excessively more risk with the lenders money. These restrictions come in different forms from. Bankruptcy is also another cost that is part of agency cost. Although perceived as minimal, it affects the firm’s credibility though which in the end will affect the firms image. Its share price will also go down and subsequently, financiers would not dare finance a bankrupt firm because they will not be able to service their debt.
Debt financing is an issue also. Firms will only lend to those with less risk of defaulting on the loan. Firms that pay tax with minimal agency cost and less financial distress is a good sign of a performing firm thus, lenders will scrutinize their books before making any loan on the same. This will put managers on the heels to ensure they follow on all procedures in order go get affordable finances.
Monitoring costs are incurred in the monitoring of expenditures made by the agents, Bonding costs are incurred in drawing up contracts and agreements by the principal with the agent and also taxes levied leaves the agents with lesser freedom to operate and has its own opportunity costs, in terms of a residual loss to the firm. This will in turn restrict the issue of equity/ debt, depending on the situation. Capital structure is therefore influenced by these costs (Barker & Powel, 2005).
Alpha Corporation and Beta Corporation
(a). The value of alpha corporation
Stock = 5,000 shares
Price = $ 20 per share
Earnings before interest = $35,000
Interest rate = 12%
Therefore, the value of alpha corporation is = 5,000 * 20 = $ 100,000
(b) The value of beta corporation
Market value of stock = $ 25,000
Debt cost = 12%
Therefore, the value of beta corporation is = 25,000* 20* 12% = $ 60,000
(c) Market value of beta corporation
The market value of beta corporation is 25,000*20 = $100,000
(d) cost of purchasing 20% of alpha stock = 100,000* 20% = $20,000
Cost of purchasing 20% of beta stock = 60,000*20% = $12,000
(e) Returns on alpha corporation stock = $35,000- $20,000 = $15,000
Returns on beta corporation stock = $35,000-$12,000 = $23,000
(f) cost of purchasing 20% of alpha’s equity = $15,000*20% = $3,000
Cost of purchasing 20% of beta’s equity = $23,000* 20% = $4,600
Therefore, the strategy of purchasing alpha’s equity and replicating in beta’s equity will help reduce the total costs by $4600-3000 = $1,600
(g) Alpha’s equity is less risky than beta’s equity because alpha’s equity are less costly and an investor can purchase alpha’s equity and replicate them in beta’s equity. By the mere fact that an investor can purchase stocks for Alpha Corporation and resell at a profit to Beta Corporation, it is evident that alpha equity has less risk. The risk attached to equity is determined by the value gained after selling the stock. Thus, it is evident that Beta Corporation’s equity has more risk than the alpha corporation’s equity. The greater the risk attached to equity the higher the returns gained (Focardi, Frank & Fabozzi, 2004). Investors who are risk averse will therefore prefer buying stocks from Alpha Corporation but investors who are risk takers will invest in Beta Corporation’s equity.
Barker, H. & Powel, G. (2005). Understanding financial management: a practical guide. Netherlands, Black line Publishers.
Broyles, J. E. (2003). Financial management and real options. England, John Wiley and Sons
Correia, C., Flynn, D., Uliana, E. and Wormald, M. (2007). Financial management. Cape Town, Juta and Company Ltd.
Crouhy, M., Galai, D and Mark, R. (2006). The essentials of risk management. New Jersey; NJ, McGraw-Hill Professional
Eckbo, B. E. (2008). Handbook of corporate finance: empirical corporate finance. Netherlands, Elsevier.
Focardi, S., Frank and Fabozzi, (2004). The mathematics of financial modeling and investment management. John Wiley and Sons
Herbst, A. F. (2010). Capital asset investment: strategy, tactics & tool. John Wiley & son’s ltd: United Kingdom.
Parrino, R. and Kidwell, D. S. (2009). Fundamentals of Corporate Finance. New York; NY, John Wiley and Sons

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