Billion-dollar note offerings signal healthy appetite for debt

February 13, 2015

Practitioner Insights thumbnail 2(Editor’s Note: This post is an excerpt from an article appearing in Practitioner Insights on WestlawNext)

Several well-known issuers have launched billion-dollar note offerings in February, a sign of healthy debt markets for public companies.

Microsoft Corp. announced the largest debt offering of the year so far on Feb. 11. The technology company filed a prospectus supplement pricing a public offering of fixed-rate notes at approximately $10.75 billion.

Fellow technology company Apple Inc. sold five series of notes a week earlier through a public debt offering on Feb. 3. The fixed and floating rate notes are collectively valued at $6.5 billion.

Merck & Co. Inc. and Netflix Inc. also launched billion-dollar debt offerings in February. Merck filed a prospectus supplement on Feb. 5 pricing an $8 billion note offering. The pharmaceutical company will sell six series of fixed and floating rate notes.

Similarly, Netflix filed a Form 8-K on Feb. 5 disclosing that it will sell $1.5 billion in fixed-rate senior notes. Unlike Microsoft, Apple and Merck, Netflix will only sell unregistered debt to qualified institutional buyers through the private offering exemption provided by Rule 144A of the Securities Act.

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