Apple Talking With Investors About $15-16 Billion Bond Offering
The Apple deal comprises six chunks of debt, according to a regulatory filing from the company. Four tranches of fixed-rate debt are being offered in the form of three-, five-, 10- and 30-year paper. Rounding out the deal are two tranches of floating-rate debt, comprised of three- and five-year notes.The Wall Street Journal indicates that Apple has not yet announced exactly how much money it intends to raise with today's offering, but that Apple is expected to offer "more than $10 billion" worth of bonds. Reuters cites a higher figure of $15-16 billion, which would rank the deal as one of the largest investment-grade bond offerings in history.
While Apple holds approximately $145 billion in cash and investments, roughly two-thirds of that money is currently held in foreign countries and would be subject to significant taxes if it were to be returned to the United States. As a result, Apple has elected to keep that money offshore and instead rely on relatively cheap debt to fund its capital return program, which consists primarily of a major stock buyback program and a quarterly dividend. Apple's current plan involves spending $100 billion to return capital to investors by the end of 2015.
Update: Reuters reports that the order book for Apple's bond offerings has now topped $40 billion, meaning that investors have offered bids for more than twice the amount of debt Apple is expected to issue. The oversubscription gives Apple flexibility in finalizing interest rates and amounts to be raised and indicates very strong interest in Apple's offerings.
Update 2: Bloomberg reports that Apple will sell a total of $17 billion worth of bonds.
The company is offering $1 billion of three-year floating-rate notes, $1.5 billion of three-year fixed-rate notes, $2 billion of five-year floating-rate notes, $4 billion of five-year fixed-rate notes, $5.5 billion of 10-year fixed-rate notes and $3 billion of 30-year fixed-rate notes, according to market sources.