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Chiquita Said to Plan $425 Million Bonds in First Sale Since ’08

Chiquita Brands International Inc., a U.S. packaged-foods company, is planning to issue $425 million of bonds with its first offering in about five years.

The owner of the namesake banana label may sell eight-year notes, non-callable for three years, with pricing expected on Jan. 30, according to a person familiar with the transaction. Proceeds will be used to repay the Cincinnati-based company’s credit facility and its $106.4 million of 7.5 percent notes due 2014, Chiquita said today in a filing.

The company last sold debt in February 2008, issuing $200 million of 4.25 percent, 8.5-year convertible debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Chiquita’s 7.5 percent securities due 2014 traded at 100.4 cents on the dollar to yield 7.26 percent on Jan. 22, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Barclays Plc are managing the new sale, said the person, who asked not to be identified because terms aren’t set.

The company is also entering into a $200 million asset-based revolving credit facility to help fund the debt repayment, the filing said.

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