Baidu raising $1.5B though two-part bond sale

Chinese Internet search giant expects to fetch US$1.5 billion from sale of bonds to settle some existing debts and for general corporate use.

Chinese Internet search giant Baidu aims to raise some US$1.5 billion through the sale of bonds in its debut dollar issue.

In a statement Tuesday, Baidu said part of the proceeds from the offering would be used to "retire certain existing debt and the remainder for general corporate purposes".

The public offering comprises two tranches: US$750 million worth of notes with a yield of 2.25 percent due 2017 and US$750 million worth of notes with a 3.5 percent yield due 2022.

The notes are expected to be listed in Singapore. The joint bookrunners of the offering were J.P. Morgan Securities and Goldman Sachs Asia.

A roadshow to drum up investor interest kicked off last week which spanned the U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong and London, according a Bloomberg report.

The bond sale follows Baidu's third quarter earnings released earlier this month, where it reported its slowest growth in two years as it faces competition from antivirus software company Qihoo 360 which launched its own search engine in August.

Last week, Japanese electronics giant Sony also announced a bond sale to raise 150 billion yen (US$1.9 billion) for acquisitions and expansion of imaging-sensor facilities. The bonds allow funds to be raised typically with more favorable terms than other options such as bank loans.