MAVERICK EXPECTED TO CLOSE ON ACQUISITION OF HSSI TODAY

Byline: Jean E. Palmieri

NEW YORK--Maverick Capital Equity Partners LLC is expected to close on the purchase of the assets of HSSI Inc. today.
The purchase price of the 60-unit chain is approximately $30 million in cash and notes. The corporate name will be changed to the Hastings Group, although the individual store names, which include Wallachs and Baskin, will be retained. According to a lawyer close to the company, Hastings will pump $5 million of capital into the operation and will downsize the chain to 52 stores within a year. The company has obtained a $25 million credit line with GE Capital, he added.
In a telephone interview, Michael Zaccaro, chief executive officer of Hastings, said the stores will continue to cater to the moderate to upper-moderate, traditional and updated-traditional shopper while setting in motion a plan to "go after the more fashionable customer."
The stores, which were part of Hartmarx Corp. and are known primarily for men's wear, will continue to carry a hefty selection of Hart, Schaffner & Marx merchandise. In women's apparel, which accounts for 25 percent of sales, there will be continued concentration on career-oriented merchandise, while the chain looks to aggressively build its related separates business.

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