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Dell announces $3.25B junk bond for EMC purchase

Computer giant Dell on Monday announced a $3.25 billion junk bond, the riskiest and lowest-rated part of a financing package to fund its $67 billion purchase of data storage company EMC.

JP Morgan and Credit Suisse are leading the junk-bond offering, which follows a US$20bn six-part investment-grade bond in mid-May and a $5 billion Term Loan B that priced last week.

The two-part senior notes deal will be split between five-year no-call two and eight-year no-call three tranches, and is expected to be rated Ba2/BB/BB+.

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and RBC are joint bookrunners on the trade, which is expected to price on Thursday.

Leads are expected to look to Charter Communications as a pricing template. The cable provider used a similar combination of investment-grade and high-yield notes last year to finance its takeover of Time Warner Cable.

Charter's high-yield notes last week were quoted some 150 basis point wide to the company's investment-grade notes, with yields of 5.4 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively, for tenors of around 10 years, according to Thomson Reuters data.

But the more challenging backdrop for the computer sector might mean that Dell will have to offer a spread as much as 200 basis points over its high-grade notes, one investor told IFR.

That would mean a new 10-year junk-rated bond from Dell would have to come at a yield close to 8 percent, given that its high-grade 2026 was quoted on Thursday at 5.9 percent.

"There is no way this is like a Charter," said the investor. "Yield is going to be the magic question."