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ABBEY HEALTHCARE GROUP SENT LETTER TO LIFETIME BOOK

 COSTA MESA, Calif., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Timothy Aitken, chairman and chief executive officer of Abbey Healthcare Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABBY), today sent the following letter to the board of directors of Lifetime Corporation (NYSE: LFT), in connection with Abbey's previously announced proposal to merge the two companies:
 To the Board of Directors of Lifetime Corporation:
 I believe it is appropriate to respond to several points in the letter from Lifetime's chairman to me dated March 30, 1993. But first I would again request that Abbey and Lifetime openly discuss in person the real benefits that can be achieved through a merger of our two companies.
 Based on your agreement to promptly enter into discussions between Lifetime and its financial and legal advisors and Abbey and its representatives, we are prepared to increase our March 12, 1993 cash and stock proposal to $27.50 per share.
 We believe that Lifetime shareholders will find this price and structure extremely attractive because it provides them with the opportunity to receive a cash component and/or a stock component which allows for participation in the future upside potential of the combined Lifetime/Abbey. Based on the synergies we see from the combination, failure to explore in detail the benefits of a merger would be irresponsible.
 It is time to put behind us the unfounded rhetoric that Abbey needs Lifetime to move out of Abbey's low margin business and into Lifetime's high margin business. Abbey has already moved its business without Lifetime. The simple fact is that last year Abbey's operating margin was 8.5 percent while Lifetime's was 4.8 percent (even after the add- back of restructuring charges).
 Your shareholders are not fools. One cannot claim a 26 percent compound growth in earnings and ignore write offs and the results of Lifetime's most recent fiscal year. The only people who reaped rewards over the last five years have been Lifetime's executive officers. Their lucrative cash compensation packages totaled almost two times Lifetime's aggregate reported earnings for the last five years of just $8.5 million. On top of those payments was the $6.1 million in severance Lifetime also incurred in 1992 to pay its former vice chairman. Furthermore, when your shareholders suffered as Lifetime's share price plummeted, these officers gained by having over 1,300,000 options reissued and repriced at $18.75 per share from their original option prices that ranged from $23.88 to $31.88 per share.
 More importantly, we are convinced that your shareholders recognize that the strategy espoused in Tony's letter implying that Lifetime's market share can be increased by focusing on local markets and forming alliances with other providers to expand your limited product offering is fundamentally flawed. Cost containment pressures and greater government involvement are shifting dramatically the healthcare decision-making power into the hands of the large payors. Aggressive payors are already pushing for capitalization agreements with single source providers to reduce costs and share risks. This situation will only get worse as the industry consolidates and the Clinton administration efforts roll out.
 Abbey will meet this challenge with or without Lifetime's cooperation. Only those companies who share the vision of having all home healthcare services under one roof will be able to provide the rewards to their shareholders. We urge you to meet with us promptly. It is time for serious discussions for the benefit of all Lifetime and Abbey shareholders.
 -0- 4/2/93
 /CONTACT: Stanley J. Kay of MacKenzie Partners, Inc., 212-929-5940/
 (ABBY LFT)


CO: Abbey Healthcare Group, Inc.; Lifetime Corporation ST: California IN: HEA SU: TNM

TS-OS -- NY012 -- 2403 04/02/93 09:31 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 2, 1993
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