US fruit and veg group Fresh Del Monte Produce has refinanced its existing credit facilities and announced a new agreement lasting until 2013.

The company, which saw its first-quarter profits almost halve due to foreign exchange, weather conditions and weak melon prices, said the facility was arranged and syndicated by Rabobank.

The US$500m facility bears interest at the Libor rate, plus a margin that varies with the company’s leverage ratio, the group said.

““The offering was significantly oversubscribed, and is indicative of our strong credit quality,” insisted Fresh Del Monte chairman and CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh.

“This refinancing demonstrates our ability to raise funds at attractive rates in a very tight loan market. We believe the new credit facility provides a more than ample cushion for our liquidity needs based on the Company’s current financial projections.”