Bloomberg News

General Mills Sells $1 Billion of Bonds as Offerings Increase

November 18, 2011

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- General Mills Inc., the maker of Cheerios cereal and Yoplait yogurt, sold $1 billion of notes as U.S. bond sales exceed the 2011 average for the fourth consecutive week.

The Minneapolis-based food manufacturer, rated Baa1 by Moody’s Investors Service and an equivalent BBB+ by Standard & Poor’s, issued 3.15 percent notes due in December 2021 that yield 125 basis points more than similar-maturity U.S. Treasuries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Companies have sold $24.9 billion of bonds in the U.S. so far this week, equaling the $23.2 billion weekly average this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The higher-than- average sales totals signal improved confidence that the U.S. economy will withstand Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, as consumers’ views on the U.S. outlook turned less pessimistic.

Stanley Black & Decker Inc. sold $400 million of 3.4 percent notes due in December 2021. The New Britain, Connecticut-based company issued 10-year securities that pay a 145 basis-point, or 1.45 percentage points, spread, Bloomberg data show. L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., Southern California Edison Co. and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. plan to issue debt as well, according to a person familiar with the offerings, who declined to be identified because terms aren’t set.

Kellogg Co., another maker of breakfast cereal, sold $500 million of five-year, 1.875 percent notes on Nov. 14. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index’s monthly expectations gauge climbed today to minus 32, the best reading since July, from minus 45 the previous month.

--Editors: Mitchell Martin, Pierre Paulden

To contact the reporter on this story: Zeke Faux in New York at zfaux@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net.


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