Goldman Sachs Interview Question: How does an LBO work? Would y... | Glassdoor

Interview Question

Investment Banking Analyst Interview(Student Candidate) New York, NY

How does an LBO work? Would you rather finance an

  acquisition with a debt/equity split of 70/30 or 90/10? Why?

Interview Answer

1 Answer


An LBO occurs when an investor, typically a financial sponsor, acquires a controlling interest in a company's equity and where a significant percentage of the purchase price is financed through leverage (borrowing).

Typically the debt portion of a LBO ranges from 50%-85% of the purchase price, but in some cases debt may represent upwards of 95% of purchase price. This is because the amount of debt used to finance a transaction varies according to the financial condition and history of the acquisition target, market conditions, the willingness of lenders to extend credit (both to the LBO's financial sponsors and the company to be acquired) as well as the interest costs and the ability of the company to cover those costs. Thus to use the LBO to their advantage higher the debt, better is the advantage.

Snigdha Mehrotra on Apr 27, 2012

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