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AT&T Initiates $12.5B Bond Offering

AT&T has again tapped the bond market, this time for $12.5 billion, to help it pare down debt as the economic uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic rages.

According to documents filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, AT&T will commence the bond offer in five tranches -- $2.5 billion in notes due 2027; $3 billion in notes due 2031; $2.5 billion in notes due 2041; $3 billion in notes due 2051 and $1.5 billion in notes due 2060 at interest rates ranging from 2.3% to 3.85%. Proceeds from the bond offerings will go toward paring down higher interest bond debt that is slated to come due in 2020, 2021 and 2047.

This is the third time this year AT&T has tapped the debt markets. It launched a €3 billion ($3.2 billion) bond offering earlier in May for general corporate purposes, including debt retirement and in April said it had arranged a $5.5 billion credit agreement with a consortium of banks led by Bank of America.

AT&T and other media companies have used access to the debt markets to provide liquidity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, Comcast issued about $4 billion in bonds to refinance debt, and Discovery Inc. said it closed early on a cash tender offer for about $1.5 billion in old bonds.