Genesco Completes Hat World Corporation Acquisition

Apr 02, 2004, 00:00 ET from Genesco Inc.

    NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Genesco Inc.
 (NYSE:   GCO) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Hat World
 Corporation, a leading specialty retailer of licensed and branded headwear.
 The total purchase price for Hat World was $177.4 million in cash, including
 adjustments for $11.1 million of net cash acquired and for working capital and
 certain tax benefits, subject to further post-closing adjustments.  Genesco
 funded the acquisition and associated expenses with debt of $100 million and
 the balance from cash on hand.  In connection with the transaction, Genesco
 entered into new credit facilities totaling $175 million with 10 banks, led by
 Bank of America, N.A., as Administrative Agent, to fund a portion of the
 purchase price and to replace its existing revolving credit facility.  The new
 credit facilities were arranged by Banc of America Securities, L.L.C.
     Hal N. Pennington, Genesco's president and chief executive officer, said,
 "We are excited about this acquisition and the opportunities it presents.  Hat
 World brings an impressive track record of growth, a strong management team
 and a culture that is very similar to ours.  We believe there is a tremendous
 strategic fit between Hat World and our other concepts and that, using the
 skills we have developed in growing our Journeys and Underground Station
 concepts, we can grow Hat World by 400 to 500 stores over time."
     Robert J. Dennis, Hat World's chief executive officer, stated, "Joining
 Genesco is a tremendous opportunity for Hat World.  Together, we will focus
 our energy and resources as we seek to expand our business, increase our
 market share and enhance shareholder value."
     This release contains forward-looking statements, including those
 regarding the Company's sales and earnings outlook, the future growth
 prospects of the Hat World business, and all other statements not addressing
 solely historical facts or present conditions.  Actual results could turn out
 materially different from the expectations reflected in these statements.  A
 number of factors could cause differences.  These include weakness in consumer
 demand for products sold by the Company, fashion trends or other factors that
 affect the sales or product margins of the Company's retail product offerings,
 changes in buying patterns by significant wholesale customers, disruptions in
 product supply or distribution, further unfavorable trends in foreign exchange
 rates and other factors affecting the cost of products, changes in business
 strategies by the Company's competitors, and the Company's ability to open,
 staff and support additional retail stores on schedule and at acceptable
 expense levels and to renew leases in existing stores on schedule and at
 acceptable expense levels.  Forward-looking statements reflect the
 expectations of the Company at the time they are made.  The Company disclaims
 any obligation to update such statements.
     Headquartered in Indianapolis, Hat World operates 481 stores across the
 U.S. under the Hat World, Lids, Hat Zone and Cap Factory names.  The company
 also operates e-commerce websites accessible
 through , ,
 and .  Hat World's core products consist of a broad range
 of licensed college, professional teams and branded headwear in various styles
 including baseball hats, visors, knitwear and buckets.
     Genesco, based in Nashville, sells footwear and accessories in more than
 1,040 retail stores in the U.S., principally under the names Journeys,
 Journeys Kidz, Johnston & Murphy and Underground Station, and on internet
 websites and . The Company also sells
 footwear at wholesale under its Johnston & Murphy brand and under the licensed
 Dockers brand. Additional information on Genesco and its operating divisions
 may be accessed at its website .

SOURCE Genesco Inc.