* Some proceeds received on Thursday
* Food processor launching plan to improve earnings
WINNIPEG, Manitoba Dec 16 Maple Leaf Foods
(MFI.TO) said on Thursday it has agreed to refinance C$355
million ($351 million) in debt as it carries out a C$1 billion
plan to modernize and consolidate its meatpacking plants.
Maple Leaf, a leading Canadian food processor, said it
received a portion of the proceeds on Thursday and will receive
the rest around Jan. 4. Net proceeds will repay existing debt,
Maple Leaf earlier this year announced a plan to boost
earnings by making its meat-processing plants more efficient by
adding new technologies and closing some plants.
Earlier on Thursday, Maple Leaf said a private placement
transaction for 25 percent of its shares, previously held by
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, had been completed.
(Reporting by Rod Nickel; editing by Peter Galloway)