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Published on 18 March 2009

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Drug company enters bond market


Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is selling bonds in order to replace short term loans acquired to part fund a planned $68 billion (£48bn) buy out of rival Wyeth.

The drugmaker borrowed $22.5 billion (£16bn) in a bridging loan arranged with five major investment banks as part of the deal.

Those banks have in turn syndicated portions of the loan set to expire on December 31 – to 29 additional banks, with none of the banks financing more than $1.5 billion (£1.07bn) of the total.

Sales are expected to close in two or three days on the senior, unsecured bonds – sold in groups with maturities of three, six, 10 and 20 years.

Pfizer spokeswoman Joan Campion said: “It’s just replacing the short-term debt with the longer-term debt.”

A need to replace the bridging loan led Pfizer to previously state it might enter the bond market. The company has yet to disclose the interest rate of the bridging loans but investors were told in January it was “within the range of market rates.”

Copyright Press Association 2009


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