NEW YORK — Levi Strauss & Co. said Monday that it is commencing a private placement of $300 million of senior notes due 2012, ranking equally with the company’s other unsecured unsubordinated indebtedness.

Levi Strauss said that $115 million of the net proceeds from the offering will be used to repay indebtedness under its senior secured bank credit facility. The balance will be used to either refinance a portion of the $350 million aggregate principal amount of the company’s 6.8 percent notes due Nov. 1, 2003, for working capital or for other general corporate purposes.

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