T-shirt and underwear maker Hanesbrands Inc is considering acquisitions after refinancing its debt to give it more flexibility to focus on growing its business.

The Winston-Salem, North Carolina based company, whose brands include Playtex, Champion, Wonderbra and Hanes, said its new debt terms allow it to target takeovers in the $200m to $300m range.

Previously it was restricted to acquisitions of $100m annually.

The company said any potential acquisitions would be in core apparel essentials categories, involve minimal integration risk, generate cost synergies, and provide revenue opportunities.

Hanesbrands also reaffirmed earlier forecasts that it expects sales to rise by 5% in 2010 - an extra $200m - from shelf-space gains.

The refinancing gives the company more flexibility in its use of excess cash flow and allows it to continue to pay off its debts.

The company used the proceeds of the $500m notes offering and borrowings from its new $1.15bn credit facilities to repay other debt.

It said its goal is to reduce debt by $300m in 2009, which would reduce interest expense by $20m to $25m next year.

Another $300m of debt reduction in 2010 would deliver a similar cut in interest expense in 2011.

"We have worked diligently over the past three years to create a new Hanesbrands, an apparel essentials powerhouse with strong cash flow, flexible capital structure, re-energised brands and a low-cost global supply chain," said chairman and chief executive officer Richard A Noll.

"The combination of our brand power and supply-chain competitiveness gives us the potential to expand market share around the world through organic growth, retailer partnerships, enhanced shelf space, improved channel penetration, distribution expansion, and acquisitions."