Leading clothing producer Jones Apparel Group Inc on Wednesday said it had obtained a three-year $700 million credit line from a group of financial institutions.

The New York-based firm, whose brands include Jones New York, Lauren by Ralph Lauren and Ralph by Ralph Lauren, said it will use the facility for working capital, letters of credit and general corporate purposes.

CFO and COO, Wesley Card, said: "Combined with our existing $700m revolving credit facility which extends to June 15, 2004, Jones Apparel Group has $1.4 billion of committed bank credit that provides us with substantial financial flexibility as we continue to pursue our multi- brand, multi-channel diversification strategy."

He added JP Morgan Securities Inc and Citigroup Global Markets Inc were the joint lead arrangers, with a total of 19 banks and financial institutions involved.