Internet giant Google is raising money through bond sales for the first time in three years despite having a huge cash pile, as the company ensures financial flexibility.
The search engine has issued 3.375%, 10-year notes totalling $1bn (£600m, €729m) in order to refinance its debt, having an interest rate of 1.25% and due May 19, according to a regulatory filing.
The bonds yield 62.5 basis points more than similar-maturity Treasuries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Google's return to the debt market is despite its huge cash and equivalents amounting to about $60bn. The company that inked more deals than any company in the world in the last three years is looking to shell out its cash for promising acquisitions.
"Google has consistently said that it views its large cash balance as a strategic weapon given the pace of innovation around it and the investment options it sees," Bloomberg quoted a report from research firm Morningstar Inc.
"We also expect the firm will remain very conservative with its balance sheet, maintaining access to the debt markets primarily to enhance financial flexibility should its domestic cash balance ever run low," Morningstar added.
The company's debt is rated at Aa2 by Moody's Investors Service and at AA by Standard & Poor's, the third highest investment-grade ratings from both agencies.
Bank of America, Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley managed the debt offering for Google.
At the close of the order book on 20 February, Google received orders worth $4.75bn, the Wall Street Journal reported citing Jesse Fogarty, managing director at Cutwater Asset Management.
By comparison, 10-year bonds sold by Apple Inc. in 2013 yielded 3.475%, or 71 basis points more than equivalent bonds issued by the US Treasury, according to MarketAxess. Apple's rating is one notch higher than that of Google.
Meanwhile, Microsoft bonds maturing in 2023 and carrying the highest credit rating, yielded 3.346%, or 60 basis points over Treasurys.