Apple Sells $12 Billion in New Bonds, Including $1.5 Billion 'Green' Bond

Apple has launched a new bond offering for US$12 billion, including $1.5 billion in 7-year "green" bonds. Green bonds are typically issued to back clean energy initiatives, and CNBC reported that Apple said it would use the money to meet its goal of using only renewable energy in its corporate offices, retail stores and data centers in the U.S. The rest of the bond offering will go to bolster Apple's efforts to return money to shareholders.

Bloomberg noted that this is the second largest bond offering so far in 2016, as shown in the chart below. Apple's first bond offering of $17 billion in 2013 was the largest in history at that time, though other companies have since issued more. Apple has also issued billions of dollars in bonds in the intervening time, including $8 billion in May of 2015.

Biggest Corporate-Bond Sales of 2016

Biggest Corporate-Bond Sales of 2016
Source: Bloomberg

Apple has more than $215 billion in cash, but most of that money is offshore. It's cheaper for Apple to borrow money in the bond markets, where it pays very little interest, than it is to pay up to 30 percent in taxes that would be due if it repatriated the cash.

So far, Apple has used the bond markets to fund the largest capital returns to shareholders in history, and to finance many of Apple's expansion plans in the U.S.

Shares of $AAPL closed higher Tuesday at $96.64 per share, a gain of $2.65 (+2.82 percent), on moderate volume of 48.1 million shares trading hands.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.