LEVI’S TO ISSUE BONDS

NEW YORK — Levi Strauss & Co. is taking another swing at the bond market.
The San Francisco-based company said Thursday it intends to issue $500 million in senior notes due in 2008. Levi’s plans to use most of the money to pay down its new $1.5 billion line of bank credit, with the balance going to pay down other outstanding debts.
Last year, the company attempted to float new bonds, but pulled back in October after the demand for high-yield debt dried up.
In December, the company announced it had received the new $1.5 billion senior secured credit facility, which replaced an older credit arrangement with less-favorable terms.
As reported, on Wednesday the jeans giant said it had improved its margins in fiscal 2000 and stemmed its sales decline to single digits, after two years of double-digit revenue drops. Chief executive Phil Marineau said Levi’s hopes to have flat sales this year.
The company’s 2000 net income came in at $223.4 million, on sales of $4.65 billion.

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