Apple lays groundwork for first debt sale ever
By Josie Cox
LONDON, April 29 - Apple took initial steps Monday for what would be its first debt sale ever, as the U.S. computer giant lays the groundwork for what would be one of the most anticipated bond sales of the year.
The company was to begin investor calls today led by Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, a source familiar with the situation told IFR, and filed SEC paperwork for a debt offering.
The only major tech company without a penny of debt on its books, Apple stunned the markets last week by announcing it could sell debt for the first time to help fund a $100 billion capital return program for shareholders.
Any bond offer from the makers of the iconic iPhone and iPad would be highly sought after by investors, and it is believed the company could raise funds at a cheaper rate than even Triple A rated Microsoft.
Apple was not immediately available for comment. It was not known if the company would look to issue debt in dollars, sterling, euros or some mix of currencies.
As it unveiled its first quarterly profit decline in more than a decade last week, Apple said it plans to buy back some $60 billion of shares over the next three years.
According to analyst estimates, Apple has $145 billion of cash - but only $45 billion on hand in the US, and thus not enough to fully fund the share buy-back program.
Research firm CreditSights said this meant that Apple would likely have to issue around $15 billion to $20 billion of debt for the next three years. Continued...