LEVI’S PLANS PRIVATE PLACEMENT

NEW YORK — Levi Strauss & Co. said it is pursuing the private placement of $350 million in senior notes due 2007.
The offering will be used to reduce commitments under its bank credit facilities. In January of this year, Levi’s completed a new $1.88 billion credit facility with its existing bank group led by Banc of America, with lenders taking a lien on most of Levi’s assets. The facility stipulates that Levi’s must pay down $200 million in amortization annually.
Levi’s said proceeds from the private placement will be used to repay a portion of outstanding debt under its bank lines and for general corporate purposes.
Levi’s earnings slumped 31.5 percent in its third quarter ended Aug. 27 to $37.8 million from $55.2 million in the prior-year quarter. Sales slid 8 percent to $1.13 billion from $1.23 billion. The San Francisco-based company said results were hurt by weak demand in the U.S. and Europe, as well as the company’s problems in keeping up with a resurgence in demand for its 501 style.
While Levi’s is a privately held company, it began reporting its financial results this year to the Securities and Exchange Commission in an effort to make the market for its bonds more liquid.

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