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Viacom sells $500 million in debt

February 14, 2011 |  2:25 pm

Viacom said Monday that it had sold $500 million in new corporate bonds -- at 4.5% interest -- to raise money to buy back some of its higher-interest debt.

The sale of the new 10-year senior notes is expected to close Feb. 22.

"Viacom intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to fund a cash tender offer for up to $500 million of its outstanding 6.25% senior notes due 2016," the media company said in a statement, adding, "and, to the extent any proceeds remain, for general corporate purposes, including the potential repayment of any borrowings under its revolving credit facility or other outstanding indebtedness."

The tender offer -- for senior notes due in 2016  -- expires at midnight (Eastern time) March 14.

The company, controlled by billionaire Sumner Redstone, has been on a tear this year.  Its marquee MTV Networks have seen ratings soar,  in large part thanks to Snooki and the Situation of MTV's juggernaut hit, "Jersey Shore."  It's 3-D Justin Bieber biopic, "Never Say Never," released by new label Paramount Insurge, raked in more than $30 million in weekend box-office receipts. 

Viacom's stock price has risen more than 50% during the last year.  Viacom common stock closed Monday at $45.26 a share, up 12 cents a share.

The company said Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo Securities were serving as dealer managers for the offering.

-- Meg James