Another Fee Bonanza Looms for Apple Debt Underwriters

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When Apple (AAPL) decided to finance some of its rising capital returns to shareholders in 2013, it prompted the biggest debt offering in corporate history at the time. Now that the company is planning to tap debt markets once more to boost dividend and buyback activity, Wall Street underwriters may be readying for a fee bonanza.

Goldman Sachs (GS) and Deutsche Bank (DB), the lead underwriters of Apple's first debt offering, are the most likely to benefit from Apple's decision to return to credit markets.

In fiscal second-quarter earnings, Apple said it would increase its capital return to shareholders to over $130 billion by the end of 2015, with repurchases rising by $30 billion to $90 million. Apple also said it would boost its quarterly dividend by 8% to $3.29 a share.

"The Company also plans to increase its dividend on an annual basis. With annual payments of $11 billion, Apple is among the largest dividend payers in the world," Apple said.

More to the point for Wall Street investment banks, Apple said it would finance much of that increased dividend and share repurchase activity.

"To assist in funding the program, the Company expects to access the public debt markets during 2014, both domestically and internationally, for an amount of term debt similar to what the Company raised during 2013," Apple said.

In April 2013, Apple raised $17 billion in debt, a record for a non-financial corporate issuer at the time. Goldman Sachs earned $38.3 million in fees for that debt offering, while Deutsche Bank earned $9.3 million in fees.

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