Why Does Microsoft Need $3.75 Billion?

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-05-12

Microsoft raised $3.75 billion selling bonds to investors on May 11, fueling speculation over what the software giant intends to do with the cash.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Microsoft said, "We intend to use the net proceeds from sales of the debt securities for general corporate purposes, which may include funding for working capital, capital expenditures, repurchases of our capital stock and acquisitions."

Some observers said they believe the company, which already had more than $25 billion in cash on hand, is likely to use the funds to buy back its stock. However, other speculation ranges from Microsoft using it to make a major acquisition to the software giant preparing to be walloped by a negative ruling from the European Commission in its investigation of Microsoft's browser bundling.

At a public event in Mumbai, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shot down the possibility of the company acquiring SAP. Ballmer dismissed the SAP speculation as "a random rumor."

Meanwhile, talk of Microsoft's interest in Yahoo or parts of that company continue to simmer.

Microsoft said the debt offering is part of a $6 billion debt authorization by the company's board of directors in September 2008. 


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