Apple looks to tap investors with bonds

City A.M. Reporter
APPLE took initial steps yesterday for what would be its first debt sale ever, as the US 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 said, 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 $100bn (£64.5bn) capital return programme for shareholders. Any bond offer 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.

According to analyst estimates, Apple has $145bn of cash – but only $45bn on hand in the US, and thus not enough to fully fund the share buy-back program.

Researchers CreditSights said this meant that Apple would likely have to issue around $15bn to $20bn of debt for the next three years.