Absolute Priority

Definition of 'Absolute Priority'


A rule that stipulates the order of payment - creditors before shareholders - in the event of liquidation. The absolute priority rule is used in bankruptcies to decide what portion of payment will be received by which participants. Debts to creditors will be paid first and shareholders (partial owners) divide what remains.

Regarding the estate of a deceased person, the absolute priority rule will ensure payment of outstanding debts before the distribution to beneficiaries.

Also known as "liquidation preference."

Investopedia explains 'Absolute Priority'


Absolute priority specifies the pecking order. Senior creditors always get first grabs at the proceeds from liquidation, and shareholders are the last to get paid. This rule provides a degree of protection to creditors in the event of insolvency or death. The division of benefits (cash) is not always the result of a bankruptcy. It can also occur due to the liquidation of assets in order to pay down a company's liabilities.

In estate cases if the resources of the estate are insufficient to pay off the debts, assets will need to be liquidated to handle the obligations.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
  2. Harvest Strategy

    A strategy in which investment in a particular line of business is reduced or eliminated because the revenue brought in by additional investment would not warrant the expense. A harvest strategy is employed when a line of business is considered to be a cash cow, meaning that the brand is mature and is unlikely to grow if more investment is added.
  3. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will be executed at a specified price (or better) after a given stop price has been reached. Once the stop price is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy (or sell) at the limit price or better.
  4. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
  5. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
  6. Budget Deficit

    A status of financial health in which expenditures exceed revenue. The term "budget deficit" is most commonly used to refer to government spending rather than business or individual spending. When referring to accrued federal government deficits, the term "national debt” is used.
Trading Center