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We survey the empirical literature on corporate nancial restructuring, including breakup transactions (divestitures, spin-o s, equity carveouts, tracking stocks), leveraged recapitalizations, and leveraged buyouts (LBOs). For each transaction type, we survey techniques, deal nancing, transaction volume, valuation e ects and potential sources of restructuring gains. Many breakup transactions are a response to excessive conglomeration and reverse costly diversi cation discounts. The empirical evidence shows that the typical restructuring creates substantial value for shareholders. The value-drivers include elimination of costly cross-subsidizations characterizing internal capital markets, reduction in nancing costs for subsidiaries through asset securitization and increased divisional transparency, improved (and more focused) investment programs, reduction in agency costs of free cash ow, implementation of executive compensation schemes with greater pay-performance sensitivity, and increased monitoring by lenders and LBO sponsors. Buyouts after the turn of the century created value similar to LBOs of the 1980s. Recent developments include consortiums of private equity funds (club deals), exits through secondary buyouts (sale to another LBO fund), and evidence of persistence in fund returns. LBO deal nancing has evolved towards lower leverage ratios. In Europe, recent deals are nanced with less leveraged loans and mezzanine debt and more high-yield debt than before. Future research challenges include integrating analyses across transaction types and nancing mixes, and producing unbiased estimates of the expected return from buyout investments in the presence of limited data on portfolio companies that do not return to public status.