Fresh Del Monte refinances credit facility

For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Fresh Del Monte refinances credit facility

The US-based group has announced that it is refinancing its existing credit facility and term loan with a new senior-secured revolving credit facility

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Fresh Del Monte has announced that it has refinanced its existing credit facility and term loan with a new US$500m senior secured revolving credit facility, which has a 3-and-a-half year term with a scheduled maturity date of 17 January 2013.

According to the US-based group, the facility bears interest at a rate of Libor plus a margin that varies within the company's leverage ratio, with the current margin for Libor advances standing at 3 per cent.

The new facility replaces Fresh Del Monte's existing revolving credit facility and term loan, scheduled to mature in November 2009 and May 2011 respectively, and includes a swing line facility and a letter of credit facility with a US$100m sublimit.

The new credit facility, which was used to refinance the existing credit facility and term loan, has US$333.4m outstanding, comprised of US$304.3m in loans and US$29.1m applied to the letter of credit facility.

Unused commitments of US$166.6m are available for working capital needs, general corporate purposes and other uses. The facility was arranged and syndicated by leading global food and agribusiness bank Rabobank.

"We are extremely pleased with the terms of our new credit facility and strong response from lenders, said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Fresh Del Monte chairman and CEO. "The offering was significantly oversubscribed, and is indicative of our strong credit quality.

"This refinancing demonstrates our ability to raise funds at attractive rates in a very tight loan market," he added. "We believe that the new credit facility provides a more than ample cushion for our liquidity needs based on the company's current financial projections."

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