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LITTELFUSE TO REFINANCE INHERITED DEBT; ENGAGES FIRST CHICAGO AS LEAD BANK, AGENT; OBTAINS BBB CREDIT RATING

 DES PLAINES, Ill., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Littelfuse, Inc. (NASDAQ: LFUS), the world's technological leader in advanced circuit protection devices and accessories for the electronic, electrical power and automotive industries, today announced plans to refinance the remaining $94 million of inherited debt and said it has engaged the First National Bank of Chicago to serve as lead bank and agent.
 Howard B. Witt, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the refinancing is another significant reflection of Littelfuse's steady business gains and growing financial strength, since it emerged as an independent public company from its former parent company's financial restructuring some 18 months ago.
 "It is gratifying to note that we have retired $31 million of our $125 million inherited debt in this first 18 months, including another $5 million in the recent quarter ended June 30, most of it ahead of schedule," Witt said. "That's not bad for a company with annual sales now surpassing $155 million, but it is even more satisfying to contemplate what this new financing can do for our strategic progress, with more favorable terms, substantially greater flexibility and increased financial strength."
 James F. Brace, vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer, said the new financing package will total $110 million consisting of a $45 million fixed rate private placement, a $25 million floating rate bank term loan, and a $40 million floating rate bank revolver loan. First Chicago has given a commitment for its portion, he said, and Duff and Phelps has given the private placement a BBB investment grade credit rating. The new credits will be on an unsecured basis.
 Noting that the company's existing credit agreement is based on floating rates of 2.5 percent over the LIBOR rate or 1.5 percent over the U.S. prime rate, Brace said a portion of the savings expected from the lower floating rate on the new bank debt will be invested in the fixed rate on the new private placement debt. While today's favorable market conditions, increased financial strength and lower interest expense all figure in the equation, Brace said, the modest reduction in interest expense is less significant than the strategic importance of locking in rates on about half the financing at today's very favorable long-term rate levels and lifting restrictions in the existing credit agreement. These include restrictive covenants on capital expenditures, acquisitions or alliances, and payments associated with stock or warrant buybacks or dividends.
 The new credit agreement and refinancing is expected to be completed in the next several weeks, Brace said, and more specific particulars will be announced at that time.
 Littelfuse is the leading producer of electronic and automotive fuses worldwide, and is extending its technological leadership to innovative new fuses for the power equipment industry. In addition to its Des Plaines world headquarters, the company has manufacturing facilities in England, Switzerland and Mexico, as well as in Centralia, Arcola and Watseka, Ill. It also has sales, engineering and distribution facilities in The Netherlands, Singapore and Farmington Hills, Mich., near Detroit.
 -0- 7/15/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Brace, VP, treasurer & CFO, or Art Skwerski, director of communications of Littelfuse, 708-824-1188/
 (LFUS)


CO: Littelfuse, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: SU:

MP -- NY076 -- 2088 07/15/93 14:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 15, 1993
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