So, Expedia wants to raise US$500mm through unsecured notes issue. What do they need with $500mm? Expedia has been profitable every quarter for the last 5 years.
The press release says
"Expedia plans to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes, which could include the repurchase of common stock, repayment of debt, acquisitions, investments, additions to working capital, capital expenditures and advances to or investments in its units. "
That is a very generic and boring PR comment. It is possible that this is just a balance sheet clean up with Expedia simply under-leveraged. The more interesting possibility is that they have their eye on some acquisitions to make.
For example there is the 50% of eLong they don't own. That's $170mm or so on current prices - likely much more if an acquisition is mooted.
Maybe the new Australian business needs a marketing boost from buying a local player.
The long mooted plans in Japan could also be expensive and invovle an acquisition.
Could they have their eye on someone in Europe? Who's left there...HRS, Hotels.de, Venere...
Or, the craziest idea of all, maybe Blackstone will hope to spin off part of Travelport into Expedia. That would be fun to see.