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Netflix Raises $1 Billion More Debt to Fuel Original Content

UPDATED, 5:10 p.m. PT: Netflix said it is raising $1 billion through a new debt offering, bringing its long-term debt load to more than $3 billion.

The offering was upsized from an aggregate principal amount of $800 million originally announced Monday morning. The debt transaction is expected to close on Oct. 27, subject to customary closing conditions.

As of Sept. 30 Netflix had $2.37 billion in long-term debt and during the third quarter recorded $35.5 million in interest expense. Execs had previously said the company would be seeking to raise additional debt.

In announcing the offering, Netflix issued a boilerplate statement about the new debt, saying it intends to use the funds “for general corporate purposes,” which may include content acquisitions, capex, investments, working capital and potential acquisitions and strategic transactions.

But a significant portion of its spending is related to content, and Netflix as a long-term goal is targeting about 50% of the TV shows and movies on its service to be original productions. In 2017, Netflix has said content spending will be about $6 billion on a profit-and-loss basis.

Upcoming Netflix originals slated for 2017 include season 2 of popular supernatural drama “Stranger Things” (pictured above), street-hero series “Marvel’s Iron Fist,” the third and final season of “Bloodline,” and a talk show from Bill Nye. The company recently bowed season 3 of “Black Mirror,” a mind-bending sci-fi anthology series, and season 2 of “Narcos” (renewed for two more seasons). On Nov. 4, Netflix is set to premiere “The Crown,” a drama chronicling the early life of Queen Elizabeth II.

Netflix’s streaming-content obligations at the end of the third quarter of 2016 were $14.4 billion (costs that are amortized over the life of the license terms), up $1 billion sequentially. The company said the increase reflects the addition of both new original and non-original content to its library, as well as expanded rights for new territories.

Netflix’s $1 billion in new debt will carry an interest rate of 4.375% with the senior notes due 2026. The notes will mature on Nov. 15, 2026, unless Netflix repurchases or redeems them earlier.

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