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Goodman Fielder refinances A$500 mln bank facilities

Monday 7th November 2011

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Goodman Fielder, the food company once owned by kiwi billionaire Graeme Hart, has refinanced A$500 million of bank debt through a new facility with Australian and global banks.

The existing debt was due to mature in October next year, but the manufacturer refinanced early to “take advantage of favourable borrowing conditions,” it said in a statement. The new facility consists of an A$300 million three-year tranche maturing in October 2014, and an A$200 million five-year tranche maturing in October 2016.

Pricing was below the existing facility, and will generate “significant cost savings” for the company, it said, without being specific. The weighted average interest rate on its unsecured borrowing facilities was 5.77 percent as at June 30, according to its annual report. The total was $960.6 million including $317 million drawn down on the $500 million facility coming due in October 2012.

“Goodman Fielder is very pleased with the level of support from our banking group and the level of interest and confidence in Goodman Fielder, which has resulted in commitments in excess of our funding requirements,” said managing director Chris Delaney. “This facility extends Goodman Fielder’s average debt maturity to five years, with the next major debt maturity not until July 2013.”

Last month, Goodman Fielder came up short in the retail component of a A$259 million capital raising to give its balance sheet more flexibility. The food ingredients maker took a A$300 million write-down of its baking division in August that led to a A$166.7 million annual loss, and prompted a restructure of its divisions.

The dual-listed shares fell 0.5 percent to 61.7 Australian cents on the ASX and were unchanged at 69 NZ cents on the NZX.

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