Abbott Laboratories sold $14.7 billion of bonds yesterday in the largest dollar-denominated offering in more than three years as the drug and medical-device maker prepares to split in two.

Abbott issued bonds in six parts through its AbbVie Inc. pharmaceutical unit, ranging in size from $500 million to $4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Proceeds will help fund a $7.7 billion tender offer related to AbbVie's spinoff.

The offering is the largest dollar-denominated sale since February 2009, when Roche Holding AG issued $16 billion of debt, Bloomberg data show. Following disruptions last week to the market from Hurricane Sandy, the biggest Atlantic storm in history, companies are issuing debt and seizing advantage of near record-low borrowing costs

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