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GE Sells $4 Billion of Bonds Facing Most 2012 Debt Maturities

GE Plans $4 Billion Bond Sale With Most 2012 Debt Coming Due
The General Electric Co. (GE) logo. Photographer: Aaron M. Sprecher/Bloomberg

General Electric Co., the world’s biggest maker of diesel locomotives, sold $4 billion of bonds as it faces more corporate debt maturities this year than any other U.S. company.

GE issued $2 billion of three-year notes and $1 billion each of five- and 10-year debt through its finance unit, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company has $78.7 billion of bonds coming due in 2012, Bloomberg data show.

Relative yields on investment-grade corporate bonds have risen 90 basis points, or 0.9 percentage point, to 254 basis points since GE sold $6 billion of notes a year ago, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. Corporate Master Index. GE issued $4 billion of debt on Jan. 5, 2010, $10 billion of bonds on Jan. 5, 2009, and $6 billion of notes on Jan. 8, 2008, Bloomberg data show.

The extra yield investors demand to own GE’s debt instead of similar-maturity Treasuries widened 75 basis points to 204 since the company tapped the corporate bond market on Jan. 4, 2011, Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data show.

GE’s 2.15 percent, three-year notes yield 180 basis points more than similar-maturity Treasuries and its 2.9 percent, five-year debt pays a 205 basis-point spread, Bloomberg data show.

Add-On Notes

The company also issued an additional $1 billion of its 10-year, 4.65 percent debentures at a spread of 240 basis points, Bloomberg data show.

GE, rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA+ by Standard & Poor’s, issued $43.3 billion of debt worldwide last year, more than any other U.S. company, Bloomberg data show.

Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are managing today’s sale, Bloomberg data show.

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