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GENERAL HOST CORPORATION AGREES TO ACQUIRE 49.5 PERCENT OF SUNBELT NURSERY GROUP'S STOCK

 FORT WORTH, Texas, April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- General Host Corporation (NYSE: GH) announces it has signed an agreement to acquire Pier 1 Imports, Inc.'s 49.5 percent share of Sunbelt Nursery Group, Inc.'s common stock (AMEX: SBN).
 "Sunbelt is eagerly anticipating the change in ownership of the largest single block of its stock to General Host Corporation of Stamford, Conn., which owns and operates 288 Frank's Nursery & Crafts stores in 17 states," said Donald W. Davis, Sunbelt's president and chief executive officer.
 Sunbelt will remain a publicly traded company listed on the American Stock Exchange and will continue to operate under its existing trade names of Wolfe Nursery in Texas and Oklahoma, Tip Top Nursery in Arizona and Nurseryland in California.
 In announcing the change, Davis said, "Pier 1 Imports was good for Sunbelt. They gave us the opportunity to put the company back on its feet when we were struggling in 1990 and then helped fuel our expansion with the public offering in 1991. They supported us when we needed it and we have personally enjoyed our association, especially working with Clark A. Johnson, Pier 1 Imports' chairman and CEO.
 "The partnership with General Host will benefit both companies by bringing Sunbelt together with 288 Frank's Nursery & Crafts stores," Davis said. "Combining the nation's largest chain of specialty retail stores devoted to the sale of lawn and garden products, crafts and Christmas merchandise with Sunbelt's 102 specialty nursery stores clearly will create a nationwide specialty retail company.
 "Given our shared objectives of profitable growth for our businesses, we believe there is great synergy that will benefit both companies," he said.
 Sunbelt Nursery Group, Inc., an American Stock Exchange company, is the leading specialty nursery retailer in six major metropolitan areas in Texas, Arizona and California with 102 stores that feature nursery stock and lawn and garden products.
 -0- 4/5/93
 /CONTACT: Robert L. Broadhead or Mark L. Jones of Sunbelt Nursery Group, 817-738-8111/
 (GH SBN)


CO: General Host Corporation; Sunbelt Nursery Group, Inc. ST: Texas IN: REA SU: TNM

SH -- NY019 -- 2926 04/05/93 10:13 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 5, 1993
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