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Investors take a big dose of GlaxoSmithKline's offering

GlaxoSmithKline used careful timing to make the most of the dearth of jumbo dollar corporate issues so far this year.

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There?s been little jumbo corporate bond issuance for bankers or investors to get their teeth into this year, so GlaxoSmithKline?s $2.5 billion debut dollar offering gave everyone something to celebrate. It was 2004?s second largest corporate dollar bond, after Pacific Gas and Electric?s $6.7 billion offering earlier in March, and the largest dollar deal from a non-US corporate since Telecom Italia last October.

The deal, which comprised a $500 million three-year tranche, a $1.5 billion 10-year and a $500 million 30-year tranche, priced at 40bp, 58bp and 68bp respectively over treasuries. This was even better than the extremely tight price guidance, with a particularly flat curve between 10 and 30 years, and better than GSK could have found in either euros or sterling at the time. At press time, the issue was trading even tighter. ?The three-year is now trading three to four basis points tighter and the 10 and 30 year tranches are 2bp tighter than at launch,? says Morven Jones, managing director at Lehman Brothers.

With the lack of benchmark industrial dollar bond issues in the first quarter, investors lapped up this double-A rated credit.

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