Central European Distribution Corporation has signed a deal to refinance PLN240m (US$66m) of its short-term debt.

The company announced today (25 February) it had signed a final agreement with Bank Pekao SA for the debt, which matures in March 2009.

The facility has a two-year maturity with interest margin increasing by 80 basis points over the existing facility.

In addition, the company has a binding commitment for a second facility, which it expects it will enter into in March and which consists of a short term working capital overdraft facility for PLN118.5m. This facility will be extended for a 12-month period with interest margin increasing by 60 basis points over the existing facility.

Together these facilities represent a majority of CEDC's short term debt. The remainder of the company's short term debt is expected to be financed from existing cash, operating cash flow and extensions of smaller working capital facilities.

William Carey, president and CEO, said: "We are pleased to have finalised the signing of the bank agreement with favourable conditions in a difficult market.

"The credit environment remains difficult in the region, as elsewhere in the world; however, the company continues to see collection of accounts receivable in line with our business plan both in Russia and Poland, thus providing continuing cash from our operations."