Amazon.com raised $3 billion on Monday by selling bonds for the first time in nearly 15 years.
The company says in an SEC filing that it will use the proceeds from the debt offering for “general corporate purposes, which may include repayment of debt, repurchases of outstanding shares of common stock, acquisitions, investments, working capital, investments in our subsidiaries and capital expenditures.”
One expected use is to fund the purchase of the company’s headquarters campus in South Lake Union for more than $1.1 billion from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc.
The notes are due in 2015, 2017 and 2022. The money raised was considerably more than initially expected after demand exceeded expectations. The Wall Street Journal reports that the bond offering received more than $10 billion in orders, based in part on the novelty of Amazon selling bonds.
Amazon has more than $5 billion in cash and equivalents, and limited debt on its balance sheet.
Ratings firm Moody’s gave the bonds a lower rating of Baa1, lower than the rating of AA- from S&P.
“What brought the rating down is that Amazon’s profitability is at its lowest since 2006 or 2007,” said Maggie Taylor, senior credit officer at Moody’s, as quoted by the Financial Times. “They’re in an investment period, but we’re concerned that they might not be able to bring [profitability] back to historic levels.”