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PFG public offering to help finance Fresh Express deal; GA Ag Dept. says contamination finding a mis

Performance Food Group (PFG), Richmond, VA, plans to make a public offering of 4.6 million shares of its common stock and $125 million of its convertible subordinated notes due 2008, under an existing shelf registration statement. Net proceeds, together with additional borrowings under PFG's credit facility, are aimed to finance its pending acquisition of Fresh International Corp. (Fresh Express).

Merrill Lynch & Co. and First Union Securities, Inc. will lead manage the offering. PFG expects to grant to the underwriters an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional 690,000 shares of common stock and up to an additional $18.75 million of convertible subordinated notes.

Separately, a Georgia Department of Agriculture test, which indicated contamination in a random sample of Fresh Express' bagged salad, has been proven incorrect. The state's agriculture department says follow-up tests could not confirm the presence of contamination in the Fresh Express product. As a result, the company's voluntary recall of the product has been cancelled.

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