Unified Gets Another $25 Million to Pay Down Line of Credit

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Unified Gets Another $25 Million to Pay Down Line of Credit

Unified Grocers, the largest wholesale grocery distributor in the western United States, has borrowed an additional $25 million from Boston-based financial institution John Hancock Life Insurance Co. The wholesaler will use the funds to reduce borrowings under its line of credit.

The new debt comprises 10-year fixed rate senior secured notes at 6.82 percent. These new notes are part of a note purchase agreement covering the Unified’s existing $86 million in senior secured fixed rate notes with John Hancock, which mature in 2016.

“We will use this money to pay down our line of credit and maintain our already-strong balance sheet,” said Unified president and CEO Al Plamann of the transaction with John Hancock, a long-term lender and business partner of the company. “At the same time, we feel it also is critically important to garner as much liquidity as possible, particularly in these difficult economic times. These additional funds will provide us with more flexibility to take advantage of opportunities and have resources available to help our member retailers grow.”

Los Angeles-based Unified supplies independent retailers throughout the western United States. Unified and its subsidiaries generated about $4.1 billion in sales during fiscal 2009.