MicroStrategy Boosts Bitcoin-Linked Junk Bond to $500 Million

(Bloomberg) — MicroStrategy Inc. boosted the size of a junk-bond sale to fund the purchase of more Bitcoin, selling $500 million of notes on Tuesday that were the first of their kind in the high-yield market.

The company received about $1.6 billion in orders for the offering, including interest from a large number of hedge funds, according to people with knowledge of the marketing process, who asked not to be identified discussing a private transaction. The strong interest comes amid a tumble in the value of Bitcoin.

The company, with Michael Saylor at its helm, emerged as one of the most bullish public companies on cryptocurrencies. It has already issued convertible bonds worth around $1 billion in its quest to scoop up more of the coins, though this is the first-ever corporate bond sale with proceeds earmarked for such purchases. Saylor’s focus on Bitcoin, including making it an official corporate strategy, has drawn the ire of critics.

MicroStrategy had initially planned to issue $400 million of the debt, and had already seen that much in demand by the time the deal was launched on Monday. It sold the secured notes at a yield of 6.125%, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, lower than early pricing discussions of 6.25% to 6.5%.

Read more: MicroStrategy Is Selling Corporate Bonds to Buy Bitcoin

Representatives for the company and Jefferies Financial Group Inc., the sole manager of the offering, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The Tysons Corner, Virginia-based company said in a filing Monday that it’s taking a roughly $284.5 million charge during its next earnings report due to losses related to fluctuations in the price of the digital asset. That amounts to more than the company’s cumulative earnings since 2011.

MicroStrategy had amassed 92,079 Bitcoins as of mid-May, which it says were acquired for about $2.25 billion at an average of about $24,450 per token.

(Updates with final pricing.)

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