With the debt market near record lows amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple (AAPL -1.22%) became the latest company to issue debt, raising $8.5 billion. 

In a prospectus earlier this week, the iPhone maker announced an offering of four tranches of notes coming due in 2023, 2025, 2030, and 2050. Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including buying back shares and supporting its dividend. Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley handled the bond offering for the tech stock.  

A bull and bear made out of stock and bond pricing in newspapers.


The coupon on Apple's three-year bond was 0.75%, while the five-year bond coupon was just 1.125%, Reuters reports. Those rates are the cheapest Apple has paid to issue debt in seven years, notes Reuters, citing data from Refinitiv IFR. 

With the Federal Reserve taking aggressive action to keep companies afloat amid the ongoing pandemic, including slashing rates to near zero and offering to buy corporate bonds, some businesses have been rushing to raise cash via debt offerings. 

In late April, Boeing (BA -0.24%) raised $25 billion , while Ford (F 0.66%) issued $8 billion in debt . But it's not only struggling companies taking advantage of the current environment. Biogen (BIIB 2.03%), the biotech company, issued $3 billion in bonds this week with proceeds partially going to repurchase shares. Apple ended the fiscal second quarter with $192.8 million in cash, down 7.4% from $207.06 billion at the end of its fiscal first quarter. Despite that dip, Apple's board authorized an increase of $50 billion for its stock buyback program and raised its dividend 6% to $0.82 a share.