US confectionery firm The Hershey Company has announced entering into a new five-year credit agreement to establish an unsecured revolving credit facility to borrow up to US$1.1bn.

The company said that the agreement, which lasts until 8 December 2011, enables funds to be used for "general corporate purposes".

The new credit facility replaces the company's existing $900m revolving credit facility that was scheduled to mature on 12 November 2008.

In a separate announcement, Hershey's board has approved an additional $250m stock repurchase authorisation to repurchase shares of its common stock.

The company expects to complete its current repurchase authorisation of $500m by the end of 2006.