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Baidu Says $1.5 Billion Bond Issue Will Be ‘War Chest’

Baidu Inc., owner of China’s most-popular search engine, said the $1.5 billion raised in its debut bond issue will serve as a “war chest” for strategic uses including possible acquisitions.

Raising U.S. dollars inexpensively will allow the company to retire some existing debt and also provides flexibility to look at ways of expanding the business, Kaiser Kuo, a spokesman for Beijing-based Baidu, said in an e-mailed response to questions today. “Our operations outside of China, though very modest at present, are growing,” he said.