Companies are borrowing the most in the loan market since 2008 to finance acquisitions worldwide, betting that they can quickly replace the debt with permanent financing as yields on corporate bonds fall to records.
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the world’s biggest brewer, obtained $14 billion in credit to buy Mexico’s Grupo Modelo SAB, and Nestle SA raised $8.5 billion for Pfizer Inc.’s baby-food unit, pushing loans for mergers to $221 billion this year, up 34 percent from the same period of 2011 and the most since $276 billion four years ago, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Anheuser-Busch sold $7.5 billion in bonds last month that will partly repay the loans, while Nestle plans to do the same within 12 months.
Nestle, the world’s biggest food maker, obtained an $8.5 billion 364-day loan in July as a backup facility for its $11.9 billion takeover of Pfizer’s baby-food unit.
China surged more than six times to $5 billion and Japan rose at least 35 percent to $10 billion after Tokyo-based Dentsu Inc. got 395.8 billion yen ($5 billion) of loans to finance its purchase of Britain’s Aegis Group Plc., Bloomberg data show.