With Financing Cheap, Share Buybacks Reach the Billions

New issues in U.S. corporate bond markets topped $43 billion last week, with foreign-based borrowers taking down more than half the total. Here's a look at who's doing the borrowing and what they're doing with the money.

The biggest dose of borrowing came from GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK  ) , with three-, 10-, and 30-year prescriptions totaling $3 billion. The SEC filing didn't provide many details, reading: "We intend to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes, which may include the refinancing of existing indebtedness. We may also invest the net proceeds in marketable securities as part of our liquidity management process."

Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE: EPD  ) piped $2.25 billion of fresh cash through its operating subsidiary with 10- and 30-year paper. The midstream partnership will use the money to repay maturing notes and pay down a credit facility and commercial paper.

Goldcorp (NYSE: GG  ) dug up $1.5 billion spread over five- and 10-year notes. Most of the new money will be used to repay maturing convertible notes, with the rest going for capital expenditures or working capital.

Discovery Communications found some buyers for $1.2 billion split between 10- and 30-year channels. The possible uses for the money listed in Discovery's press release include "the acquisition of companies or businesses, repayment and refinancing of debt, working capital, capital expenditures and the repurchase by the Company of its capital stock."

Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP  ) loaded up $650 million between 10- and 30-year tranches. The money will be used to repurchase stock under the company's share repurchase program.

Viacom entertained the bond market with 10- and 30-year notes totaling $550 million. The money will go toward paying down debt and share repurchases.

DCP Midstream Partners (NYSE: DPM  ) energized its cash levels by selling $500 million of 10-year paper through its operating subsidiary. The money will be used to finance the drop-down of a bigger piece of its Eagle Ford joint venture, announced in the company's quarterly earnings last month.

Refinancing and share buybacks continue to be popular reasons for companies to tap credit markets, and there's no sign of the cheap money supply drying up.

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