OKLAHOMA CITY – Sonic Corp. has repurchased $62.5 million of the company's Class A-1 variable funding senior notes in a privately negotiated transaction.

"We are pleased with the company's ability and efforts over the past two years to use excess cash effectively to reduce debt and strengthen our balance sheet," said Clifford Hudson, chairman and CEO. "These purchases, combined with regularly scheduled principal payments, bolster Sonic's capital structure and provide additional financing flexibility to manage our business."

A gain of approximately $5 million on the extinguishment of the notes is expected to be recognized by Sonic. With the completion of this transaction, Sonic's outstanding debt will total approximately $520 million, and Sonic will have more than $30 million of unrestricted cash available for general corporate uses. Sonic is scheduled to make an additional $58 million in principal payments over the remainder of fiscal year 2011.

Results for the first quarter ended Nov. 30 are expected Jan. 4, 2011.

Sonic operates more than 3,500 drive-ins in the US.