Convertible Debenture

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DEFINITION of 'Convertible Debenture'

A type of loan issued by a company that can be converted into stock by the holder and, under certain circumstances, the issuer of the bond. By adding the convertibility option the issuer pays a lower interest rate on the loan compared to if there was no option to convert. These instruments are used by companies to obtain the capital they need to grow or maintain the business.

BREAKING DOWN 'Convertible Debenture'

Convertible debentures are different from convertible bonds because debentures are unsecured; in the event of bankruptcy the debentures would be paid after other fixed income holders. The convertible feature is factored into the calculation of the diluted per-share metrics as if the debentures had been converted. Therefore, a higher share count reduces metrics such as earnings per share, which is referred to as dilution.

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