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A Kearney 2021 report on so-called zombies has caught renewed interest as it became clear that, globally, real estate companies were in the biggest danger of joining the cast of The Walking Dead.

The report looked at 20 years of data on global companies that were at least 10 years old and where earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, or EBITDA, were less than interest payments for three years in a row. From 4 million records covering roughly 67,000 companies across 152 countries and 154 industries, the Kearney authors calculated that 4.5% of listed firms overall were zombies. But when it came to the real estate industry, the percentage jumped to 7.4%.

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