Published On: Fri, May 3rd, 2013

Peter Oppenheimer cuts off a $17 billion slice of Apple pie

Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer is  the mastermind behind the tech giant’s decision to sell bonds in the company worth $17 billion as the Smartphone pioneers work to put together enough capital to finance their $100 billion cashback to their shareholders.

Peter Oppenheimer /  Getty

Peter Oppenheimer / Getty

 

/ By Albert Hecht /

There was a lot of excitement around the capital markets of the USA and the rest of the wall yesterday, when the news that Apple would be instigating a bond sale for a block of their shares valued at a cool seventeen billion dollars. Interest was so high among private and institutional investors who were reportedly saw anxious to get their hands on some Apple shares that demands for  the bond issue was apparently was greater by supply by more than 300%. Understandable considering that the bond issue is was Apple’s first since Oppenheimer joined the company in 1996.

While the financial press has given Apple something of a hard time of late, speculated that the company, in the post Steve Jobs era, is lagging behind in the Smartphone and tablet race with Samsung enjoying better product reviews and increasing sales, while Google, Microsoft and several other leading hi- tech giants all whittling away at Apple’s share of the market.

Despite that , there is still no taking away from Apple’s role as the key player and leading innovator in the industrial world having recently regained the position as the world’s most valuable company, overtaking oil giant ExxonMobil.

In the corporate world Apple’s are a regular record breaker, and their seventeen billion dollar bond issue masterminded by Oppenheimer is part of the largest share buyback in history which is estimated to eventually reach a value of around sixty billion dollars, higher than the GDP of many countries. An indication of the scale of Apple’s wealth is that in 2012, their sheer value rose to such a level that it allowed them to become members of the highly select group of public companies whose combined current market value compromises close to five percent of the total market value of the S&P 500.

According to financial commentators, the logic behind Apple’s first bond sell-off for more than fifteen years was to take advantage of the highly competitive interest rates currently on offer. Apple are  well known for the reluctance to assume any form of debt and are even reported to be holding close to one hundred and fifty billion dollars in cash reserves. Experts predict that the reason why the Oppenheimer made the decision to go to the market to sell off the bonds in the company was that at an estimated two thirds of Apple’s capital is currently held outside of the US, and repatriating it would bring wrote considerable tax penalties.

Apple’s decision to promise the shareholders a one hundred billion dollar dividend, payable over the next three years is seen as an effort to provide a form of reassurance to shareholders that all is well with the company and that reports of a drop in demand for the company’s products is only a temporary phenomenon. Apple last week returned their first annual drop in net income for almost ten years.

Apple’s successful seventeen billion dollar bond issue makes for the largest in history overtaking the previous record of $16.5 billion made by Roche Holdings in 2009.

Leading market analysts were not surprised about the instant response to Apple’s bond issue stating that investors will be very reluctant to miss out on the opportunity to snap up shares only high-quality issuer such as Apple, with the amount of money that they are raising being around 9% of the company’s total cash holdings

Peter Oppenheimer occupies the role of Apple Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer as well as senior vice president reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook as well as serving on the company’s executive committee.

California born Oppenheimer graduated with a Bachelor’s degree with honors from California Polytechnic State University in Agricultural Business later earning his M.B.A. from Santa Clara University again with honors. Oppenheimer is a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.

Oppenheimer spent the early part of this career with international accountancy practice Coopers and Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) specialising in Information Technology where he gained considerable experience, particularly managing financial systems for clients engaged in the telecommunications and banking industries.

Peter joined Apple Computer in 1996, with his initial role being financial controller for North and South America. A year later Oppenheimer was promoted to vice president of the company as well as Worldwide Sales controller , later on going on to become and Corporate Controller.

 

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