by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) May 1, 2013
Technology giant Apple confirmed Wednesday it sold $17 billion in bonds in the biggest corporate debt issue ever.
The bond sale, described in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, broke the record of $16.5 billion from Roche Holding in 2009, according to the research firm Dealogic.
The debt-free Apple on Tuesday offered six tranches of debt, four at fixed rates and two at floating rates with the maturity between three and 30 years.
For the three-year bonds, Apple will pay a rate of 0.45 percent, which according to Dealogic is the lowest coupon rate on record, tied with Texas Instruments, Unilever Capital and Walt Disney for comparable notes.
The bond maturities go up to 30 years, with a rate of 3.85 percent, according to the SEC documents.
The company chose to issue debt to finance part of the $100 billion in share buybacks and dividends it pledged to undertake through the end of 2015.
Apple had a cash pile of $145 billion at the end of March. But a significant part of the money is in foreign accounts and the company decided it was better to borrow than bring the money back into the US because of tax issues.
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