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I was reading a few days ago that Deutsche Bank was planning to issue preferred stock in order to gather cash.

The company is struggling and because it has many illiquid assets some fear bankruptcy. So if holders of preferred stock get their money back before holders of common stock, wouldn't the share price of common stock reach rock bottom?

I believe the same thing happened with the New York Times a few years back, when they needed cash and so they issued preferred stock. Their share price didn't change much if memory serves.

Who would invest in a company knowing that it is close to bankruptcy and that they will get the money last?

How come when a company issues preferred stock when struggling, its share price doesn't approach 0?

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Prior planning for issuance of Preferred stock, something happens in every organization.

  1. Plan to restructure organization.
  2. List of assets, which could be sold off and what could be held.
  3. Employee restructuring. often happens :)
  4. Operations restructuring, if required.
  5. identification of additional investment needed areas, which could bring the needed revenue to organization like R&D or services or advertising or new plants or new machinery.

The above listed activities give a rough picture on how much new money is needed, depending on that, The company goes for issuance of preferred stock. This new plan needs approval from analysts (depends on stock market). The new plan along with the audited reports, is submitted to SEC for approval, so they could go for issuance of preferred stock.

People/Organizations who buy these preferred stock would check the above list and invest ONLY if they believe its feasible. This info is also made available to the general share holders too.

(Some of the above points might not be applicable in some markets, but generally, this is how it is done.)

Issuance of preferred stock generally means, the board / CEO has done the required homework and identified areas which need changes. Now, they would be using new cash to implement these changes, which should add value to the retail investor too, so the price should go up.

I have seen some companies default and go for restructuring intentionally, cuz their organizations are heavily troubled by Unions, which wont let them make significant changes when the company had cash in hand. So they let the company fail and then do a restructuring. Few Italian companies have done it i guess.

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It's true that common shareholders will be subordinated to the new preferred shares, but if a company is close to defaulting on its debt, the infusion of cash from a preferred issue may be better for the common shareholders than going through a bankruptcy.

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