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HICKS, MUSE & CO. ACQUIRES HAT BRANDS, INC., MAKER OF RESISTOL, STETSON AND OTHER MAJOR HAT LINES

 HICKS, MUSE & CO. ACQUIRES HAT BRANDS, INC.,
 MAKER OF RESISTOL, STETSON AND OTHER MAJOR HAT LINES
 DALLAS and RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Hicks, Muse & Co., Inc., a private investment firm with offices in Dallas and New York, has acquired an 80 percent interest in Hat Brands, Inc., of Richmond, the largest designer, manufacturer and marketer of headwear in the United States, the two companies announced today. The transaction, including debt, is valued in excess of $100 million. Hat Brands is privately held.
 Hat Brands' product lines include premium-quality wool and fur felt and straw western hats, sold under the brand names Resistol, Stetson, Bradford and Miller Bros.; premium-quality athletic caps, sold under the AJD brand; and cloth, straw, wool and felt dress and casual hats, sold under the brand names Stetson, Knox, Dobbs, Cavanagh, Churchill, Adams, and Miller Bros.
 In its fiscal year ended June 30, 1992, Hat Brands sales were $106 million, up from prior-year sales of $87 million and more than double the fiscal 1987 sales level.
 Thomas O. Hicks, chairman and chief executive officer of Hicks, Muse, and who has been named chairman of Hat Brands, effective immediately, said: "With its history of operating profitability, strong brands and market position, and low cyclicality, Hat Brands is a welcome addition to the Hicks, Muse family of companies. Above all, it is a company that, in our view, has significant long-term growth potential."
 John R. Muse, a co-founder and principal of Hicks, Muse, said: "Resistol and Stetson are the unquestioned market leaders of the western wear hat business. Hat Brands' other lines, including AJD, Dobbs, Adams, and Miller Bros., are equally well established in the apparel trade and well-known to customers for quality, fashion and value. With the support of Hicks, Muse, Hat Brands will be very well situated to build upon its current position of market leadership."
 Mr. Muse continued: "We are particularly pleased that Irving Joel, Hat Brands' visionary founder and the driving force behind its success, will continue to lead Hat Brands' management team as the company's president and chief executive officer, and that he has purchased a significant (20 percent) equity interest in the post-acquisition company. We look forward to his continued operating leadership of Hat Brands well into the future."
 Mr. Joel said: "For some time, Hat Brands has been exploring various ways to ensure the company's long-term strength and to maximize its growth and earnings potential. Our new affiliation with Hicks, Muse & Co. meets both of these objectives. This relationship will bring real and continuing benefits to all concerned, including our vendors, suppliers and employees."
 Hat Brands was formed in 1984 under the name VaTex Headwear Inc., and, through a series of strategic acquisitions over the next seven years, grew from an athletic cap manufacturer to the largest diversified headwear company in the United States.
 Hicks, Muse & Co., Incorporated, specializes in control equity acquisitions and recapitalizations. Since its inception in June 1989, Hicks, Muse has completed six acquisitions with an aggregate purchase price in excess of $1.8 billion.
 -0- 9/10/92
 /CONTACT: Roy Winnick or Michael Freitag of Kekst and Company, 212-593-2655, for Hicks, Muse & Co., Inc./ CO: Hicks, Muse & Co., Inc.; Hat Brands, Inc. ST: Texas, Virginia IN: TEX SU: TNM


SM-TS -- NY014 -- 7846 09/10/92 09:02 EDT
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Date:Sep 10, 1992
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