Capital Markets

More Jumbo Debt Offerings

May Department Stores; Nationwide Building Society; Merrill Lynch.
Stephen TaubJuly 15, 2004

At least three companies raised more than $5.2 billion in the bond market over the past couple of days.

May Department Stores Co. trotted out $2.2 billion of debt in the private placement market. It is reportedly using some of the proceeds to help finance its $3.2 billion acquisition of 71 department stores.

The deal is the largest since GlaxoSmithKline Plc issued $2.5 billion of debt in late March, according to Reuters, citing Thomson Financial. Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s both recently downgraded May’s debt ratings to two steps above junk status but set the company’s ratings outlook at “stable,” according to the report.

In addition, British mortgage lender Nationwide Building Society launched the sale of $1.55 billion of notes in the private placement market, according to Reuters. The deal includes $1.25 billion of 3-year floating-rate notes and $300 million of 5-year notes.

And Merrill Lynch & Co. planned to sell $1.5 billion of 10-year medium-term notes on Wednesday, according to Reuters, citing the lead manager for the deal. The planned size of the sale was tripled from $500 million.