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Apple Returns to Bond Market to Scale Biggest Borrowers’ Ranks

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is about to join the ranks of the biggest U.S. corporate borrowers as the iPhone maker starts marketing bonds in what it says may rival last April’s then-record $17 billion offering.

The iPhone maker is offering bonds in seven parts, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction. The Cupertino, California-based company plans to issue both floating- and fixed-rate notes with maturities of three and five years in addition to fixed-rate notes due in seven, 10 and 30 years, said the person, who asked not to be identified because terms aren’t set.

Apple said last week it will seek to raise an amount “similar” to what it issued in 2013. That would about double its debt load this year to put it within the 20 largest U.S. corporate borrowers excluding financial issuers and place it in the company of bond-market stalwarts Procter & Gamble Co. and Deere & Co, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The world’s largest technology company by stock-market capitalization is returning to debt markets to fund a $30 billion increase to its shareholder-reward program that also prompted its unprecedented offering last year. Apple is opting to issue debt rather than use $159 billion of cash and marketable securities that’s mostly held overseas and subject to repatriation taxes.

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