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CBS Sells $1.75 Billion of Bonds to Repurchase Debt

CBS Corp., owner of the most-watched U.S. television network, sold $1.75 billion of notes to help buy back debt in its first bond offering in two years.

The transaction included $550 million of 30-year bonds and $600 million each of 10-year and five-year notes, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The media company controlled by billionaire Sumner Redstone raised its quarterly dividend earlier this month and doubled its share-repurchase program to $6 billion. Standard & Poor’s gave the new bonds an investment-grade rank of BBB. CBS’s share repurchase program is “manageable and unlikely to weaken its credit profile,” the ratings company said today in a release.

Its 3.7 percent notes due 2024 were sold to yield 130 basis points more than similar-maturity Treasuries, and its 2.3 percent notes due 2019 yielded 75 basis points more than benchmarks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The New York-based company’s 4.9 percent bonds due 2044 paid 175 basis points more than benchmarks.

The company plans a tender offer to buy back 8.875 percent senior notes due in 2019, 7.875 percent debentures due in 2023, 7.875 percent senior debentures due 2030, and 7.125 percent senior notes due 2023 of CBS Broadcasting Inc., a wholly owned unit of CBS Corp., the company said in a statement today.

The multimedia business last sold bonds in June 2012, with an issue that included $500 million of 4.85 percent debentures due 2042, Bloomberg data show.

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