Media Centre
2004/12/09

Maple Leaf Foods Completes CDN $1.2 Billion Debt Financing

TORONTO, ONTARIO, Dec 9, 2004 (CCNMatthews via COMTEX) -- Maple Leaf Foods (TSX:MFI) announced today that pursuant to a private placement transaction, it has issued $500 million in long-term debentures for terms of seven, ten and twelve years. In addition, Maple Leaf Foods has completed an agreement with its principal bank syndicate to renew the Company's primary revolving credit facility. The renewal increases the maximum available amount from $635 million to $700 million, and extends the maturity from October 3, 2005 to December 6, 2007.

"We are extremely pleased to complete these financing transactions, as they significantly strengthen the Company's long-term liquidity at investment grade financing rates," said Natalie Marche, Vice President and Treasurer. "This re-financing significantly extends the average term of our debt, further diversifies our core lending sources and provides the Company with competitively priced long-term capital."

Details of the $500 million private placement are set out below.

Principal                   Maturity Date          Coupon
----------------------------------------------------------
US $207 million             2011                   5.21%
US $98 million              2014                   5.61%
Cdn $105 million            2014                   6.06%
US $7 million               2016                   5.76%
Cdn $20 million             2016                   6.22%

The notes were issued to institutional investors in Canada and the United States. The private placement was made in Canada pursuant to certain prospectus exemptions and the Notes are not qualified by prospectus for distribution under Canadian securities laws. The private placement was offered in the United States to a limited number of institutional Accredited Investors without registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the securities laws of any state. Net proceeds of the private placement will be used to repay existing short-term debt that was incurred to purchase the Schneider Corporation in April, 2004, and to repay other short-term debt.

The new $700 million bank facility is an unsecured revolving credit arrangement and bears interest based on short-term interest rates. The facility will be used to meet the Company's shorter term funding requirements for general corporate purposes, and to provide surplus liquidity.

Both the bank facility and the private debt placement include covenants that are materially consistent with the Company's existing credit arrangements.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading Canadian food processing company committed to delivering quality food products to consumers around the world. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the Company employs approximately 23,000 people at its operations across Canada, and in the United States, Europe and Asia. The Company reported sales of $5.0 billion in 2003.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
Lynda Kuhn
Vice President Public & Investor Relations
(416) 926-2026
NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

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