Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Apple $6.5 Billion Bond Offering: Minority Inclusion Breakthrough

Rainbow PUSH News: Minority Firms Participate in Apple $6.5 Billion debt offering – A Breakthrough for the business of Diversity

Statement from Rev. Jesse Jackson:

For the first time in its company’s history, Apple will include African American and Latino-owned financial services firms in its $6.5 billion debt offering. Williams Capital and Ramirez and Co. will participate in the syndicate.

Apple is making a major statement with the inclusion of minority financial services firms in this transaction is a major breakthrough for the business of diversity. The good news is that empowers minority firms, and is value added for Apple. Williams Capital and Ramirez and Co. are experienced, top-flight firms with proven track records. We are delighted that they are participating in Apple’s debt offering. They are changing the flow of the river.”

Diversity and inclusion should not be limited to workforce development and transformation. There is also a “business dimension” that must also be addressed – supplier diversity and procurement opportunities, access to capital for minority start-ups and companies, and inclusion of minority financial services firms in debt offerings, IPO’s and other transactions.

Apple is assuming a leadership role in opening up a significant financial transaction to minority firms. We hope Apple will continue to include minority firms in future financial transactions, and that other Silicon Valley technology companies will follow Apple’s lead and open up new business opportunities for minority firms. It’s good business; when there is inclusion, there is growth and when there is growth, ever body wins.

The Associated Press reports that “Apple sold roughly $17 billion in bonds in 2013, which at the time was the largest bond sale ever by a U.S. company. A year later, Apple sold $12 billion in bonds. The company has used the proceeds previously to pay investors dividends and increase its share buybacks.” Apple has a reported $178 billion in cash and marketable securities on hand at the end of December, most of it deposited overseas.


USA Today: Apple taps minority firms in bond deal

Jessica Guynn, USATODAY

SAN FRANCISCO — When Apple sold $6.5 billion in bonds on Monday, the technology giant did something else behind the scenes: It tapped two minority financial services firms to take part in the debt offering.
"We're proud to have a range of banks participate in our recent debt offering, including two well-respected minority-owned companies Williams Capital and Ramirez & Co.," said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet.

Rev. Jesse Jackson says this marks the first time that an African American-owned firm and a Latino-owned firm were included in a debt offering from the world's largest company by market value.
Jackson and his Rainbow PUSH Coalition have been pressing Apple and other technology companies to increase diversity, not just in their employee ranks, but among their suppliers as well.

Jackson said he hopes other Silicon Valley companies will tap minority firms such as Williams Capital and Ramirez & Co., which have proven track records.

Monday's sale was the largest U.S. high-grade corporate-bond sale so far this year. Apple has issued $32.5 billion of bonds in three offerings since April 2013, according to Bloomberg.

"Apple is beginning to open previously closed doors," Jackson said in an interview. "There is more to be done but this is a significant step. ... When Apple assumes a leadership position, it begins to redirect the flow of the river."

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