Google draws rush of demand for new bond

Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:54am IST

A Google logo is reflected on the screen of a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in Prague January 31, 2014. REUTERS/David W Cerny/Files

A Google logo is reflected on the screen of a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in Prague January 31, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/David W Cerny/Files

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NEW YORK, Feb 20 (IFR) - Google was deluged with orders Thursday for its new US$1bn 10-year bond, with demand said to have surged to around US$5bn by midday for the Internet giant's second-ever debt offering.

That surge of interest allowed the double-A rated company to shave a full 10bp off initial price thoughts, releasing official price guidance at T+65bp area (+/- 2.5bp) after whispering in the T+75bp region.

That's already on top of where triple-A rated Microsoft trades on a spread basis over Treasuries in similar maturities.

One trader told IFR that the much tighter price guidance level had caused "a decent amount" of investors to drop out of the order book.

"This is a rare issuer with broad name recognition that everyone has room for in the portfolio," said Matt Duch, senior portfolio manager at Calvert Investments.

"The question is how tight does it price? That's the thing that matters."

Lead managers Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have indicated that the transaction will not grow in size beyond US$1bn.

Google will use proceeds for the repayment of its outstanding US$1bn 1.25% 2014s, which were one of three tranches in its first-ever debt sale in May 2011.

Comparables for the new deal include another tranche, its 3.625% May 2021s, which are currently seen at G+49bp and a dollar price of US$106.00.

Microsoft, rated higher at triple-A, has a 3.625% December 2023 trading at T+65bp, the same as Google's guidance level.

But Google's deal looks even richer at guidance of T+65bp when compared to the G-spread of the Microsoft's 2023s.

Other comparables include IBM, rated Aa3/AA-, which has 3.625% February 2024s at G+90bp.

The Google offering leads an onslaught of corporate deals in the US bond market on Thursday, with Eli Lilly, Whirlpool and Medtronic all out with fresh supply.

(Reporting by Danielle Robinson; Editing by Marc Carnegie)

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