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FRUIT OF THE LOOM TO ACQUIRE SALEM SPORTSWEAR CORPORATION

 CHICAGO, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Fruit of the Loom, Inc. (AMEX: FTL), one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of basic family apparel, today announced that it has entered into a merger agreement to acquire Salem Sportswear Corporation of Hudson, N.H. In accordance with agreements with Salem Sportswear and its two principal shareholders, who own approximately 49 percent of Salem Sportswear's outstanding stock, Fruit of the Loom will commence a cash tender offer for all of the outstanding common shares of Salem Sportswear at $12.75 per share. The tender offer will be made through FTL Acquisition Corp., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Fruit of the Loom, and is expected to expire in mid November 1993. Salem Sportswear currently has approximately 10.7 million fully diluted shares outstanding.
 Salem Sportswear is a leading domestic designer and marketer of sports apparel under licenses granted by the Major American professional sports leagues (National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, National Football League and the National Hockey League), professional players, and many American colleges and universities. The company sells a wide variety of quality sportswear, including T-shirts, sweatshirts and shorts. For the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 1992 Salem Sportswear had sales of $119.8 million.
 The acquisition has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of Salem Sportswear. In addition, the two principal stockholders of Salem Sportswear have agreed to tender their shares into the tender offer. After the successful completion of the tender offer, Salem Sportswear will be merged with FTL Acquisition Corp. and the remaining stockholders of Salem Sportswear will receive $12.75 for each then outstanding share.
 William Farley, chairman and chief executive officer of Fruit of the Loom, Inc., said "We are very enthusiastic about the merger of these two outstanding companies. Through the combined skills of the two companies, Fruit of the Loom will have a jump start into the $5 billion sports licensed apparel market. This market has been experiencing rapid growth in recent years due to increased spectator interest in professional and college sports and strong demand for athletic sportswear of all types."
 "We look forward to quickly becoming a leading integrated producer of sports licensed apparel by combining Fruit of the Loom's strengths in manufacturing, distribution, sales and service with the design and marketing skills of the Salem organization. Together with our new Wilson sportswear line, coming to market this Spring, we will be able to offer the consumer in both the U.S. and Europe an extensive line of sportswear products. These exciting products will offer excellent quality, innovative design and the best possible value and be available in the sales channels most convenient to the customer, Farley added.
 Fruit of the Loom is a vertically integrated international manufacturer and marketer of quality activewear and casualwear for the imprinted and retail markets, men's and boys' underwear and women's and girls' underwear. The company holds the leading market share position in men's and boys' underwear and activewear T-shirts, and a significant position in ladies' and girls' underwear, fleece and socks. Fruit of the Loom employs approximately 33,400 people in over 50 locations worldwide. Principal brand names include FRUIT OF THE LOOM(R), BVD(R), SCREEN STARS(R) and MUNSINGWEAR(TM). The company is also a leading manufacturer of infants' and toddlers' underwear and family socks, using the FRUIT OF THE LOOM brand name. All Fruit of the Loom products are "unconditionally guaranteed."
 -0- 10/11/93
 /CONTACT: Mark A. Steinkrauss, vice president-investor relations of Fruit of the Loom, 312-993-1889, or (fax) 312-993-1749/
 (FTL)


CO: Fruit of the Loom; Salem Sportswear Corporation ST: Illinois, New Hampshire IN: TEX SU: TNM

TS -- NY033 -- 0714 10/11/93 13:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 11, 1993
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