GE raises $8.5B in company bond sale

General Electric has sold $8.5 billion of its bonds, splitting the sale between $2.5 billion of five-year notes and $4 billion of 10-year notes. GE also sold $2 billion in a reopening of 30-year bonds.

This is the largest U.S. corporate offering in six years, according to Bloomberg.

The sales of the bonds assigned one of the seven-highest ratings account for 82 percent of bond sales so far this year, compared with 73 percent in the same period in 2007.

The five-year, 4.8 percent notes have been priced to yield 205 basis points more than Treasuries of similar maturity; the 10-year, 5.625 percent notes came with a spread of 200 basis points; and the 30-year, 5.875 percent bonds paid a premium of 199.4 basis points. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point, Bloomberg said.

Richard Hofmann, an analyst at CreditSights in New York, told Bloomberg that the sale is a sign of GE’s strength because the company is able to come to market. “They're going to have to pay a wider spread for it, but they're going to get it done. That's more than a lot of companies can say right now,” he noted.

GE first sold the 30-year bonds in January, when it issued $4 billion of the debt at a spread of 165 basis points.