Investment-Grade Debt

Our success as an investment-grade debt adviser reflects long-standing relationships with some of the most prolific debt issuers in the world. This includes being designated underwriters' counsel for companies such as IBM, General Mills, Honeywell and GE Capital Corporation. The size of our investment-grade debt practice involving novel and complex debt products has helped keep us on the field's leading edge.


  •  IFLR Americas Awards – “Americas Law Firm of the Year” and “Debt and Equity-Linked Team of the Year”; we are the first firm to win these awards for two consecutive years. 2012 and 2013

In 2013, Davis Polk ranked:

  • 1st as issuer’s and managers’ counsel in:
    • U.S. Corporate Debt – Bloomberg 
  • 1st as managers’ counsel in:
    • U.S. Investment-Grade Debt – Thomson and Bloomberg
    • U.S. Straight Debt – Thomson
    • Global Bonds – Bloomberg
    • Asia Pacific Bonds – Thomson 
  • 1st among U.S. firms as managers’ counsel in:
    • International Bonds – Thomson
    • All International Investment-Grade – Thomson
    • Euromarket Bonds – Bloomberg

Notable Matters

  • IBM ($11 billion). We recently advised the underwriters on several dollar-, GBP- and euro-denominated note offerings by International Business Machines (IBM), valued in aggregate at approximately $11 billion. 

  • Google ($4 billion).We advised the joint book-running managers on Google’s $3 billion debut SEC-registered notes offering, and a subsequent $1 billion SEC-registered notes offering by Google.

  • CNOOC Limited ($4 billion). We advised CNOOC Limited, a Hong Kong-based upstream company specializing in the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas, on the $2 billion Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of guaranteed notes by its wholly owned subsidiary, CNOOC Finance (2012). We also advised the initial purchasers on a $2 billion Rule 144A/ Regulation S offering of guaranteed notes by CNOOC Limited, which was named “Debt Deal of the Year” at the 2011 Asian Legal Business Hong Kong Law Awards. 

  • Texas Instruments ($3.5 billion). We advised Texas Instruments, one of the world’s leading semiconductor designers and manufacturers, on its $3.5 billion SEC-registered offering of notes. 

  • Sinopec ($3.5 billion). We advised the underwriters on a $3.5 billion Rule 144A/Regulation S senior notes offering by Sinopec. This is the first global debt offering by China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation and the largest cross-border debt offering by a PRC company to date. 

  • ArcelorMittal ($3 billion). We advised the joint book-running managers on an SEC-registered offering of notes by ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest and most global steel producer. The transaction represents the third-largest steel bond offering across any market. 

  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. ($7 billion). We recently advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation on its establishment of a $50 billion Rule 144A/Regulation S, Section 3(a)(2) medium-term notes program, and SMBC’s subsequent $3 billion debt takedown. We also advised SMBC on two previous $2 billion guaranteed senior bond offerings pursuant to Section 3(a)(2). Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation is one of the largest banks in the world by assets.

  • The Hartford Financial Services Group ($2.15 billion). We advised the underwriters on a $1.55 billion offering of senior notes and a $600 million offering of junior subordinated debentures by Hartford Financial Services, a provider of insurance and wealth management services. Concurrent with the offerings, we also advised the solicitation agents in connection with The Hartford soliciting holders of a series of its senior notes for their consent to terminate a replacement capital covenant. 

  • Odebrecht Oil & Gas ($1.7 billion). We advised Odebrecht Offshore Drilling Finance Limited, on its $1.7 billion Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of senior secured notes. OOG is part of the Odebrecht Group, which has been active as a service provider for the oil and gas industry for nearly 60 years. This project bond offering is the largest project bond issuance ever in Latin America.

  • Nike ($1 billion). We advised the underwriters on a SEC-registered offering of notes by NIKE, the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities.

  • LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton ($850 million). We advised LVMH on its inaugural Rule 144A/Regulation S notes offering. The LVMH Group’s unique portfolio of over 60 prestigious brands includes Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy, Château d’Yquem, Hennessy, Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Chaumet and the Les Echos media group.

  • Republic of Guatemala ($750 million). We advised the Republic of Guatemala on its Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of notes.

  • Syngenta ($750 million). We advised Syngenta Finance on a $750 million SEC-registered offering of notes. Syngenta Finance is a subsidiary of Syngenta AG and a finance company of the Syngenta Group, a world-leading agribusiness that is involved in the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of a range of products designed to enhance crop yields and food quality.