Microsoft Said to Plan Benchmark Bonds in First Issue Since 2011

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software maker, is offering benchmark bonds in three parts with its first sale in 21 months.

The manufacturer of the Windows operating system may sell five-year notes, 10-year securities and 30-year debt as soon as today, according to a person familiar with the transaction. Proceeds from the offering, which will be of benchmark size, typically at least $500 million, will be used for general corporate purposes.

The company last sold debt in February 2011, issuing $1 billion of 5.3 percent, 30-year bonds, $750 million of 2.5 percent, five-year notes and $500 million of 4 percent, 10-year securities, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The notes due February 2021 traded at 116.1 cents on the dollar to yield 1.89 percent on Oct. 24, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

The new bonds may be rated Aaa, the highest level of investment grade, by Moody’s Investors Service, said the person, who asked not to be identified because terms aren’t set. Barclays Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UBS AG are managing the sale for the Redmond, Washington-based company.

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