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FedEx to Borrow $1.5 Billion for Contribution to Pension Plan After Tax Changes

Updated on
  • The company sold 10-year and 30-year notes on Monday
  • Its pension plan was 88% funded as of May 31, filings show

FedEx Corp. is borrowing $1.5 billion to fund a contribution to its pension plan that it announced last week after the passage of U.S. tax law changes.

The company sold 10- and 30-year bonds on Monday, with the $1 billion longer-term portion of the offering yielding 1.12 percentage points more than Treasuries. That’s down from initial talk of around 1.3 percentage points, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified as the details are private.

Memphis-based FedEx had projected obligations of $29.91 billion in its U.S. pension plan as of May 31, and the plan was 88 percent funded as of that date, according to its annual regulatory filing. Other companies like AbbVie Inc. and 3M Co. have also recently said they were boosting their pension contributions in light of the tax changes.

FedEx’s Chief Financial Officer Alan Graf said on a Dec. 19 earnings call that should the tax changes pass, the company would use some of the savings to make additional pension fund contributions. U.S. President Donald Trump signed the tax bill into law on Dec. 22. Last week, FedEx said its voluntary contribution would be $1.5 billion.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. managed the bond sale, FedEx said in a preliminary filing.

— With assistance by Kristen Knebel

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