Top U.S. network equipment maker Cisco Systems on Monday launched a $5 billion three-part debt sale, showing the company replenishing its war chest as it steps up acquisitions.
While Cisco is cash rich, with $35.4 billion in cash and investments at the end of the last quarter, most of it was overseas as a result of its global operations, with only $4.7 billion held in the United States.
Moving cash into the United States from international geographies might trigger adverse tax implications, so a debt raise could make sense, said Taunya Sell, an analyst at Ragen MacKenzie, a division of Wells Fargo, in a note to clients.
She said proceeds were likely to be used to fund Cisco's planned acquisition of wireless equipment maker Starent Networks Corp for $2.9 billion.
Cisco has said it plans more acquisitions ahead. It is also planning to buy Norwegian videoconferencing company Tandberg ASA, although that deal will use overseas cash.
IFR, a Thomson Reuters service, said the latest offering consists of $500 million of five-year notes launched at 67 basis points more than comparable U.S. Treasuries, and $2.5 billion of 10-year notes launched at 100 basis points more than Treasuries.
The third part is $2 billion of 30-year bonds launched at 130 basis points more than Treasuries.
Acquisitions have been a key part of Cisco's growth strategy over the past decade, and the company has expanded from routers and switches to a wider range of products like cable set-top boxes and business software.
Since John Chambers took the CEO role in 1995, it has grown from $1.2 billion in annual revenue to around $40 billion.
Barclays, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank are the active lead managers, and Bank of America, HSBC and JPMorgan are the passive lead managers, said IFR.
(Reporting by Pam Niimi and Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Diane Craft, Bernard Orr)