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Abbott plans $3bn debt offering

Abbott plans to sell a three-part offering of senior unsecured bond notes, which could range from $3bn to $4bn

Abbott plans to sell a three-part offering of senior unsecured bond notes, which could range from $3bn to $4bn, according to sources.

The offering comprises $750m of five-year notes that may yield 70 basis points more than similar-maturity Treasuries; $1bn of 10-year debt that may, similarly, pay 90 basis points more; and $1.25bn of 30-year bonds that may pay a 122 basis-point spread. A basis point is 0.1 percentage point.

Abbott is tapping the bond market for the first time since February 2009 as investors' concern that Europe's sovereign debt crisis will spread pushes issuance this month to the lowest in a decade.

The Illinois-based pharma company will use proceeds to repay some of its $3.6bn of commercial paper and for general corporate purposes, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The proposed sale follows Abbott's recent steps to buy big parts of Solvay Pharmaceuticals of Belgium and Piramal Healthcare of India.

25th May 2010

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