US companies line up for euro bond market; General Electric up today

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General Electric opened books on a four-part euro bond sale on Wednesday morning, becoming the latest in a series of US companies to raise money in Europe following the dousing of French political risk.

The company is looking to raise five-year, eight-year, 12-year and 20-year fixed-rate bonds, all of benchmark size – which typically means a minimum of €500m in the investment grade corporate bond market. This suggests GE is looking to raise at least €2bn of debt in total, but it could raise far more than this, as it plans to use some of the proceeds towards repaying a $4bn bond maturing later this year.

Reverse Yankee deals – where US companies raise money in the euro bond market – have become increasingly common in the recent years, with companies such as Pfizer and Coca-Cola raising multi-billion euro deals earlier this year.

Cereal maker Kellogg on Tuesday became the first to raise a reverse Yankee deal following the conclusion of the French presidential election, pricing €600m of bonds maturing in November 2022 at an 0.81 per cent yield.

US companies Allergan and Baxter International have both announced that they will meet investors in Europe next week ahead of planned bond sales. Allergan’s planned deal would be its first euro-denominated bond, with the US pharma company announcing that it is targeting a “multi-tranche benchmark transaction”.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and JP Morgan are running the deal, which is due to close later on Wednesday.

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