Tyson updates $1 billion credit agreement

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 100 views 

Tyson Foods Inc. recently established  a new $1 billion credit facility that is expected to reduce the company’s annual interest expense and enhance its balance sheet.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. will serve as administrative agent of the new facility, which will lower the company’s annualized interest cost by $1.1 million, the meat giant said Monday (Aug. 13).

The credit facility contains terms and covenants that are indicative of the company’s investment grade status and these will provide the company with greater operating and strategic flexibility than it had in its previous credit facility.

"Our ability to establish this new credit facility is reflective of Tyson’s recent return to investment grade status with all three ratings agencies,” said Dennis Leatherby, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Tyson Foods. “It’s another positive step in our ongoing efforts to maintain a strong balance sheet, which is especially important as we face challenging market conditions and work to execute our strategy for growth.”

The new credit facility and related commitments are scheduled to mature in August 2017.

Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith told investors last week the company planned to remain profitable despite ongoing operating challenges related to widespread drought and record grain costs.

Shares of Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) traded lower in Monday's morning session. At noon Aug. 13 shares were trading at $15.54, down 50 cents or roughly 3% from the prior day.