May 17, 2011 / 12:48 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-Maple Leaf Foods refinances C$800 mln debt

* Replaces maturing credit facility

* Maple Leaf building new bakery, meat plant

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, May 17 (Reuters) - Maple Leaf Foods Inc (MFI.TO), a leading Canadian pork processor and baker, said on Tuesday that it has refinanced C$800 million ($816 million) in debt, as it moves ahead with an ambitious spending plan.

Maple Leaf said it entered into a new four-year C$800-million revolving credit facility.

The credit facility with a syndicate of Canadian, U.S. and international institutions, replaces another facility due to expire on May 31.

The Toronto-based company last summer announced a strategy to boost earnings and capital spending by closing some meat-processing plants while expanding others as it tries to narrow the gap on more technologically advanced and lower-cost U.S. rivals. [ID:nN06187572]

The company expects earnings growth will help pay for C$1.29 billion ($1.3 billion) in capital spending over the next three years, including a big new bakery in Hamilton, Ontario, to open in 2011, and construction starting in 2012 on a prepared-meats plant in an undisclosed location. ($1=$0.98 Canadian) (Reporting by Rod Nickel, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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