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Ames gets new $800 million in new financing

Ames Department Stores Inc. has closed on a new three-year, $800 million financing package that gives the Northeastern discounter an extra $150 million in credit availability.

The new financing pact, arranged through GE Capital, replaces an earlier $650 million credit facility.

The terms of the new deal include both a higher borrowing base and a higher advance rate than the previous facility allowed, according to the retailer. The new terms, the retailer said, will give Ames "greater flexibility in adjusting to changing business needs and economic environments."

Joe Ettore, chairman and ceo, said, "This credit agreement both strengthens our capital structure and gives us the means to pursue our business goals. It is also a strong vote of confidence from the financial community."

Ames, which operates 447 stores nationwide, has been pummeled in a weakening retail environment, with same-store sales falling by 8 percent in January.

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