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Fruit Of The Loom, Inc. Announces its Intention to Purchase up to $200 Million Of its Common Stock and Finalizes Sale Of Hosiery Business

CHICAGO, Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Fruit of the Loom, Inc. (NYSE: FTL), one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of basic family apparel, today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the purchase of up to $200 million worth of the Company's common stock in open market and privately negotiated transactions. This represents approximately seven (7%) percent of the Company's shares outstanding. The total number of shares of common stock outstanding as of Oct. 31, 1996 was approximately 76.4 million shares.

Mr. William Farley, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "We believe the current market value of Fruit of the Loom common stock does not reflect the underlying strengths of the Company -- its customers, products and the markets it serves, as well as its strong financial position. Our investment decision to purchase the Company's stock reinforces management's long-term commitment and confidence in Fruit of the Loom's future. This is an opportunity to further build shareholder value."

In addition, the Company announced the completion of the sale of its hosiery business to Renfro Corporation of Mount Airy, North Carolina effective Nov. 8, 1996. The sale includes substantially all of the assets of its hosiery manufacturing operations for $74 million and the liquidation of other related assets (mostly accounts receivable) for proceeds of approximately $16 million. Renfro Corporation has entered into a long-term licensing agreement with Fruit of the Loom granting Renfro an exclusive license to use the Fruit of the Loom trade name and trademarks for the manufacture, sale and distribution of athletic, casual and dress socks for adults and children.

It is anticipated that Fruit of the Loom employees involved in hosiery operations will join Renfro Corporation. Both companies will work diligently to effect an orderly transfer of personnel.

Renfro Corporation is a privately owned company founded in 1921 and employs over 2,800 people. It is a quality manufacturer of various kinds of socks sold to major chain retailers in the United States. Renfro produces both private label and branded products under a variety of brand names. In 1990, Renfro was awarded the prestigious Class A MRP II designation and is the recipient of numerous vendor awards from leading United States retailers. Warren C. Nichols serves as President and Chief Executive Officer.

Fruit of the Loom, Inc. is a vertically integrated, international basic apparel company, emphasizing branded products for consumers ranging from infants to senior citizens. The company manufactures and markets men's and boy's underwear, women's and girl's underwear, printable activewear, casualwear, sportswear and childrenswear. Fruit of the Loom employs approximately 33,500 people in over 50 locations worldwide. Brand names include FRUIT OF THE LOOM(R), BVD(R), GITANO(R), BEST(TM) and SCREEN STARS(R). Licensed brands include MUNSINGWEAR(R), WILSON(R), BOTANY 500(R) and JOHN HENRY(R). Licensed apparel bearing the logos or insignia of the major sports leagues and their teams and certain popular players in the leagues, and the logos of most major colleges and universities, are marketing under the PRO PLAYER(R) and FAN'S GEAR(R) brands.

SOURCE Fruit of the Loom, Inc.
 -0- 11/26/96


/CONTACT: Mark A. Steinkrauss, vice president, Corporate Relations of Fruit of the Loom, 312-993-1889, fax: 312-993-1773, or e-mail: msteinkrauss@fruit.com; or Home Page: www.fruit.com/

(FTL)

CO: Fruit of the Loom, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: SU:

SC -- DETU015 -- 4340 11/26/96 11:22 EST http://www.prnewswire.com
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Date:Nov 26, 1996
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