Unilever grabs low-coupon record for 3-yr, 5-yr notes
July 30 (IFR) - Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever on Monday became the latest holder of low-coupon records for three-year and five-year notes, knocking IBM Inc and Bristol-Myers Corp off the top rung.
The company sold $450 million of three-year notes via its financing arm, Unilever Capital Corp, at a coupon of 0.45%, beating out the 0.55% record held by IBM Corp since February 1, according to Thomson Reuters/IFR low-coupon tables.
The notes priced at 99.603 to yield 0.584% or 27 basis points over Treasuries. Unilever is rated A1/A+.
The maker of household name goods, including Hellmann's mayonnaise, Dove soap and Lipton tea, sold $550 million of five-year notes with a coupon of 0.85%, beating out the 0.875% record set by Bristol-Myers Squibb just last week.
The notes priced at $98.816 to yield 1.094% or 47 basis points over Treasuries.
Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley were joint active bookrunners on the deal, which is guaranteed by Unilever NV, Unilever Plc, and Unilever United States Inc.
The deal came in a busy session in the US primary high-grade bond market. Ten companies announced new deals totaling $10 billion on Monday to take advantage of issuer-friendly conditions -- low rates and strong demand from investors seeking an alternative to low-yielding Treasuries.
The flood pushed July issuance to about $68 billion, easily beating the previous supply record for the month, the $58.7 billion issued in July 2010.
Issuers are expected to try to push deals through early this week, ahead of Wednesday's Federal Reserve statement, Thursday's ECB meeting and Friday's jobs report for July. (Andrea Johnson is a senior IFR analyst based in Florida; Editing by Ciara Linnane)
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