In a notable departure from its traditionally conservative financial strategy, software giant Microsoft has raised $3.75 billion by selling bonds.
The company, which already sits on a $25 billion cash stockpile, insists that the money will be used for general purposes, and to fund its share buy-back scheme.
However, Microsoft first announced that it would turn to the public debt market to raise cash when it was preparing to acquire web giant Yahoo!, a deal that, in the end, did not take place.
This week’s revelation has therefore fuelled speculation that another significant acquisition may be in the offing.
Right on cue, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer quashed rumours that it might be about to acquire troubled German applications vendor SAP. “It strikes me as a random rumour,” he told reporters.