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EXERCISE OF OPTION OVER AZNAR INDUSTRIAL SA

 OXFORDSHIRE, England, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hartstone Group plc (London Stock Exchange: HSTL) today announced that it has exercised its option to acquire Aznar Industrial SA (Azinsa) for a total consideration of Ptas 1,838 million (10.4 million pounds sterling), as anticipated in Hartstone's recent interim report to shareholders.
 Information on Azinsa
 Azinsa designs, manufactures and distributes underwear, lingerie and beachwear sold principally under the Marie Claire brand name. Azinsa supplies the medium priced sector of the Spanish market through department stores and independent retailers. The business was started in 1965, initially as a division of Aznar SA, and in 1975 it was transferred to Azinsa. Azinsa employs 288 people and operates from an 11,750 square meter leased facility in Castellon, a facility shared with Aznar SA.
 Azinsa will remain under the overall direction of Juan Barreda, who is also a director of Aznar SA. Juan Barreda is supported by a management team of six who have extensive experience with Azinsa.
 The audited financial statements of Azinsa for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991 showed pre-tax profit of Ptas 63 million (0.4 million pounds) on sales of Ptas 1,495 million (8.4 million pounds) and net tangible assets of Ptas 453 million (2.6 million pounds). Management has estimated that the pre-tax profit for the year ended Dec. 31, 1992 will be approximately Ptas 175 million (1.0 million pounds) on sales of approximately Ptas 1,725 million (9.7 million pounds).
 Reasons for the Acquisition
 The option to acquire Azinsa was granted in December 1991, when Hartstone acquired Azinsa's sister hosiery companies (the Aznar Group). The exercise of the option gives Hartstone the opportunity to extend the group's product range into branded underwear and lingerie. Hartstone will utilize Azinsa's design knowledge to expand its underwear and lingerie business throughout Europe using Hartstone's existing mass market distribution channels and European brand names (principally Marie Claire, Well and Bear Brand). Azinsa's own manufacturing expertise will be supplemented by Hartstone's Far Eastern sourcing capability. The acquisition of Azinsa provides a strong business base for Hartstone's Hosiery Division in a product area closely related to its existing European business.
 Terms of the Acquisition
 An initial consideration of Ptas 638 million (3.6 million pounds) has been paid in cash. Further consideration of Ptas 1,200 million (6.8 million pounds) is to be satisfied by April 1993 by the payment of Ptas 1,000 million (5.6 million pounds) in cash and the allotment of 596,156 new Hartstone ordinary shares.
 The vendors have undertaken to retain the consideration shares for a minimum period of two years following the date of acquisition.
 Copies of this announcement will be available (for collection only) for a period of 48 hours from the company announcements office at the London Stock Exchange and at any time from the registered office of the company at 1 Saint Andrew's Court, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3GG.
 -0- 1/8/93
 /CONTACT: Stephen Barker, chairman, or David Gratton, finance director of Hartstone, 0844-261544; or Debra Wasser of Dewe Rogerson Inc., 212-688-6840, for Hartstone/


CO: The Hartstone Group plc; Aznar Industrial SA ST: IN: SU: TNM

TS-LR -- NY009 -- 2977 01/08/93 10:11 EST
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Date:Jan 8, 1993
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