GE CAPITAL TO FUND AMES

NEW YORK — Ames Department Stores Inc. has closed on a new $800 million senior secured financing agreement with GE Capital Corp., the finance arm of General Electric Corp.
The three-year facility represents a $150 million increase over the discounter’s prior credit facility from Bank of America. The terms of the new agreement, Ames said, include both a higher borrowing base and a higher advance rate than the previous facility.
Joseph R. Ettore, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement: “This credit agreement both strengthens our capital structure and gives us the means to pursue our business goals.”
Ames, which has yet to report fourth-quarter or yearend earnings results, posted a 4.2 percent increase in sales, to $1.33 billion for the quarter ended Feb. 3; and a 3 percent increase, to $3.95 billion for the 52-week period. Comp-store sales for the 13 weeks ended Jan. 27 were down 3 percent, and for the 52-week period, they fell 2.1 percent.
Ames operates 447 stores in 19 states and the District of Columbia.