The Leslie Fay Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: LFAY) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with Cynthia Steffe, Inc., in which Leslie Fay will purchase substantially all of Cynthia Steffe's assets. The agreement also calls for Cynthia Steffe to license her trade names to Leslie Fay. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions. Leslie Fay expects the transaction to be consummated by the end of April 2000.

Cynthia Steffe, founded in 1989, focuses on the young contemporary market.

Commenting on the agreement, John Pomerantz, Chairman and CEO of Leslie Fay said, "The contemporary market represents an excellent growth opportunity for our company. Cynthia Steffe is recognized for its high quality contemporary and designer sportswear and it will be a welcome addition to the Leslie Fay family. We look forward to taking advantage of the unique creative talent that Cynthia Steffe brings to our company."

"We have been searching for the right strategic alliance for some time and feel that Leslie Fay is the ideal match," said Richard Roberts, President of Cynthia Steffe, Inc. "Leslie Fay's extensive infrastructure and financial strength will enable our company to execute many aspects of its production and distribution cycle in a more effective and timely manner."

Cynthia Steffe, designer and CEO of Cynthia Steffe Inc. added, "I am excited by the opportunities our two companies will have to expand and enhance the Cynthia Steffe product offerings. Leslie Fay will afford me the chance to expand my collection within our existing customer base as well as explore new product categories. I am looking forward to having a close working relationship with John Pomerantz and John Ward."

Cynthia Steffe designs and markets contemporary and designer sportswear under the Cynthia Cynthia Steffe and Cynthia Steffe labels. For 2001, Cynthia Steffe will produce a dress line.

The Leslie Fay Company, Inc. sells its career, evening and social occasion dresses and its sportswear through leading department and specialty stores nationwide. The Company's moderate-priced brands include Leslie Fay -- one of the best-known trademarks in women's apparel -- Leslie Fay Haberdashery, Joan Leslie and Reggio. It's "better" price brands include David Warren, Rimini by Shaw and Hue. Leslie Fay is a licensee for the Liz Claiborne and Elisabeth dress labels. The Company has operated continuously as an apparel company since its founding in 1947.