Online travel services company Expedia Inc. is tapping the corporate bond market for the first time, with a $800 million offering this week.

The company will sell the 10-year senior unsecured notes through joint lead managers JP Morgan Securities Inc. and Lehman Brothers Inc. in a private placement, Expedia said.

The company said it expects to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes including share repurchases and the financing of potential acquisitions.

Expedia is authorized to repurchase up to $600 million of shares. In the six months ended June 30, the company had repurchased $127 million of shares.

Expedia's shares rose 27 cents, or 1.9 percent, to close Monday at $14.86 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The new bond offering will provide a ``nice cushion'' for the company, which already has a $1 billion five-year unsecured revolving credit facility, Moody's senior analyst John Moore said. As of June 30, there was nothing owed under the facility, according to a quarterly filing from the company.

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