Structured finance and the boundaries of the firm: the case of project finance

Paulo P. Alves, João M. Pinto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paperPreprint



We examine the factors that influence public firms’ choice between project finance over internally organized investment projects. Using a large sample of syndicated deals closed between 2000 and 2020 in conjunction with Datastream data, we find that economies of scale, agency costs of debt, and information asymmetry arguments affect the choice of on- versus off-balance-sheet funding. As project finance deals have higher borrowing costs than comparable corporate financing deals, we show that other firm-level countervailing benefits play a key role in the sponsoring firms’ choice: borrowers choose project over corporate financing when they are relatively larger, less profitable and creditworthy, and seek long-term financing; and switchers resorting to project finance tend be more levered and to have larger growth opportunity sets.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages53
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2021


  • Project financing
  • Corporate financing
  • Syndicated loans
  • Debt financing choice


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