SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Foods established a $1 billion credit facility that is expected to reduce the company’s annual interest expense by $1.1 million annually and strengthen its balance sheet, according to the company.

Tyson said the new credit facility will give the company greater operating and strategic flexibility compared to the company’s previous credit facility.

"Our ability to establish this new credit facility is reflective of Tyson’s recent return to investment grade status with all three ratings agencies,” said Dennis Leatherby, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Tyson Foods. “It’s another positive step in our ongoing efforts to maintain a strong balance sheet, which is especially important as we face challenging market conditions and work to execute our strategy for growth.”

JPMorgan Chase Bank NA will serve as administrative agent. The new credit facility and related commitments are scheduled to mature in August 2017.