ViacomCBS, Following Disney, Comcast, Announces $2.5 Billion Debt Sale

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ViacomCBS is the latest media conglom to tap the debt market, announcing plans to raise $2.5 billion by selling notes.

Disney raised $6 billion last week and Comcast $4 billion earlier this week as companies in – relatively – strong positions look to build up a cash cushion against the uncertain economics of a spreading coronavirus pandemic.

ViacomCBS will sell $1.25 billion 4.75% senior notes due 2025 and $1.25 billion in 4.95% senior notes due 2031. The sale is expected to close on April 1.

ViacomCBS said it intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, which may include repayment of outstanding indebtedness.

BofA Securities, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Securities and Morgan Stanley are managing the sale.

Other companies, like Discovery and AMC Entertainment have been tapping revolving credit lines – basically loans that are earmarked and available but sit there until drawn down. Companies start paying interest when they tap them.

ViacomCBS’ senior unsecured debt is currently rated BBB (stable) by Fitch Ratings, Baa2 (stable) by Moody’s Investors Service and BBB (negative) by S&P Global Ratings.

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