Ralph Lauren draws down $475 million from credit line, halts buyback

(Reuters) - Ralph Lauren Corp RL.N said on Tuesday it drew down $475 million from an existing credit line and stopped share buybacks, as it looks to beef up cash reserves to cope with the financial blow from the coronavirus pandemic.

The fashion house will also start making 250,000 masks and 25,000 isolation gowns, joining other major fashion labels that have started making medical gear to ease shortages during the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, luxury brands such as LVMH LVMH.PA, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Canada Goose GOOS.TO had announced plans to help supply essential gear for healthcare workers and patients.

Ralph Lauren, which has shut its distribution centers in North America and Europe, said it would reopen the facilities later this week.

The company had $1.9 billion in cash and short- and long-term investments at the end of its third quarter.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva