In this course you will learn how companies decide on how much debt to take, and whether to raise capital from markets or from banks. You will also learn how to measure and manage credit risk and how to deal with financial distress. You will discuss the mechanics of dividends and share repurchases, and how to choose the best way to return cash to investors. You will also learn how to use derivatives and liquidity management to offset specific sources of financial risk, including currency risks. Finally, You will learn how companies finance merger and acquisition decisions, including leveraged buyouts, and how to incorporate large changes in leverage in standard valuation models.
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
• Understand how companies make financing, payout and risk management decisions that create value
• Measure the effects of leverage on profitability, risk, and valuation
• Manage credit risk and financial distress using appropriate financial tools
• Understand the links between payout policies and company performance
• Use derivatives and liquidity management to offset financial risks
• Pick an appropriate financing package for an M&A or leveraged buyout deal
This course is part of the iMBA offered by the University of Illinois, a flexible, fully-accredited online MBA at an incredibly competitive price. For more information, please see the Resource page in this course and onlinemba.illinois.edu.
Course Orientation You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course.
Module 1: Raising Financing: The Capital Structure Decision In Module 1, we will discuss the differences between debt and equity financing for corporations. We will then learn how to avoid usual mistakes that people make when analyzing the choice between debt and equity. We will work with financial statements to understand the impact of higher debt on corporate profits, and we will learn how debt and risk are fundamentally related. Finally, we will use our knowledge to understand how companies choose how much debt to have.
Module 2: Understanding Debt Financing and Payout Policy In Module 2 we will dig deeper into the mechanics and the institutional details that are important to understand debt financing. We will learn models that allow us to link default probabilities to yields on a company’s debt. We will discuss the roles of credit ratings and credit default swaps for debt markets. We will learn the importance of non-price contractual terms such as debt covenants, collateral and seniority. We will use this knowledge to understand how companies choose between bank debt and bond financing. Finally, we will discuss how payout decisions (dividends and share repurchases) affect firm value and how companies choose their optimal payout policy.
Module 3: Risk Management In Module 3 we will identify good and bad reasons why companies engage in risk management, or hedging. We will learn the mechanics of how to use derivatives such as forwards and futures to eliminate specific risks. We will also discuss how to manage risks that cannot be hedged with derivatives. In particular, we will learn that appropriate liquidity management can work as a substitute for hedging strategies. We will also discuss how and why to hedge currency risk, and how to think about a company’s cost of capital when making cross-border investments.
Module 4: Financial Management of Acquisitions and R&D In Module 4, we will apply the financial management tools that we developed in this course to M&A decisions and R&D programs. We will learn how to finance an M&A deal, and how companies choose between cash and stock payments to acquire target companies. We will also discuss the financing of LBOs (leveraged buyouts), and learn how to model a leveraged buyout using Excel. We will then discuss the financial management of R&D programs, with an emphasis on risk management. Specifically, we will learn how to think about the financing of R&D in a dynamic framework that considers the need to make uncertain follow up investments.
Course Conclusion You will find out where to go next after completing this course and be able to share any thoughts you have on this course experience.