For the first time in its history Microsoft Corp sold bonds to investors cashing in on its credit rating and investor appeal to raise $3.75 billion.
The software giant was able to sell bonds at interest rates at only a marginal premium to US government debt and at substantially lower rates than other corporates.
The move triggered speculation about a possible acquisition to revive growth but people in the know deny that the company is working on any specific deal.
The company offered notes with maturity of five, 10 and 30 years.
The company's offering received the highest ''AAA'' rating from Moody's Investors Service. The software giant is among a few US companies still rated 'AAA' by both Moody's Investor Service and Standard & Poor's.
According to Moody's Richard Lane, the AAA rating for the company's inaugural debt instrument reflected the company's position as the world's largest software company with a strong and defensible market position throughout its diverse core offerings.
Moody's added the company's very strong debt protection measures are supported by over 22 billion dollars of operating profit with nearly 12 billion dollars of free cash flow in a challenging business environment
Microsoft's $ 47.5 billion bid to take over Yahoo had been rebuffed last year but with management changes at the internet firm the two companies are reportedly in talks for a potential partnership.
Microsoft chief executive, Steve Ballmer has repeatedly said that he was open to a tieup with Yahoo.
Business software firm SAP has also been reportedly in the sight of Microsoft.
Microsoft has slashed 5,000 jobs since January to reduce expenses as the recession has hit demand for software. As per the company's regulatory filings it had $25.3 billion in cash and short-term investments as of 31March.
The software giant reported its first decline in sales last quarter as the customers preferred to go for cheap laptop computers with older versions of its Windows operating system in the recession.
The company had last February explored possibility of selling bonds in when it made a bid for Yahoo Inc for $44.6 billion which was later hiked to $47.5 billion.
Microsoft shares closed at $19.32 shedding 0.51 per cent in New York on Monday.