Verizon + Verizon Wireless = Record Bond Deal

After a few months of sputtering, tepid corporate bond issuance, the U.S. bond market got very busy last week with more than $90 billion in new issues. One company by itself was responsible for more than half the total.

About five months ago, Apple set a new record for corporate bond issues with a six-tranche, $17 billion deal. Verizon crushed that last week with a $49 billion deal to help pay for its $130 billion acquisition of Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless. To help put that in perspective, had this been the only deal last week, it would have been the second-biggest week for corporate issues so far this year.

Here's how the deal broke down along with the public issue price and last traded price from Friday for each slice of the debt. Buyers at the offering price made a tidy profit over a few days.

(in Millions)


Coupon Rate

Issue Price
(% of Par Value)

Last Traded
(% of Par Value)


September 2016

Floating, 3-month LIBOR + 1.53%




September 2016





September 2018

Floating, 3-month LIBOR + 1.75%




September 2018





September 2020





September 2023





September 2033





September 2043




Source: Verizon SEC filing and

Servicing the new debt will run Verizon a little under $2.5 billion per year. After all that, the borrowing probably isn't over. The Use of Proceeds statement in the SEC filing said the rest of the $130 billion would come from "other indebtedness and available cash." There was no mention of a share offering, but I wouldn't be surprised to see that added to the mix, particularly if borrowing rates head north.

Verizon wasn't the only issuer last week. Here are snapshots of some of the other deals.

Tenet Healthcare wrote a prescription in the junk market for $4.6 billion split between 6% senior secured notes maturing in 2020 and 8.125% senior unsecured notes maturing in 2022. The money is being used to finance Tenet's acquisition of Vanguard Health Systems.

Activision Blizzard tried its hand at the bond game by issuing eight- and 10-year notes totaling $2.25 billion. Coupon rates were 5.625% and 6.125%, respectively. The money will go toward buying enough Activision shares from Vivendi to make Activision an independent company.

Energy Transfer Partners piped in $1.5 billion by selling seven-, 10.5-, and 30-year notes. The money will be used "to repay $455 million of borrowings outstanding under the term loan of Panhandle's wholly owned subsidiary, Trunkline LNG Holdings, LLC, to repay borrowings outstanding under ETP's revolving credit facility and for general partnership purposes."

ONEOK Partners sold a $1.25 billion, three-part deal of five-, 10-, and 30-year notes. The money is being used to pay of $1.2 billion of commercial paper.

Even without Verizon, last week would have been one of the biggest in dollar value terms this year. With Verizon, it was huge. It'll be interesting to see if borrowing big is back or if this is just a blip in the finance calendar.

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Russ Krull has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends ONEOK Partners. It recommends and owns shares of Activision Blizzard. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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