The Lincoln Company LLC today announced that the following letter was sent by Spencer Hays of The Lincoln Company to Raymond F. Farley, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee of Independent Directors of Hartmarx Corporation. In the letter, Lincoln offered to meet promptly with the Committee and its advisors to provide appropriate information to facilitate the transaction process.
August 22, 2001

    Mr. Raymond F. Farley
    Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee of
    Independent Directors of the Hartmarx Corporation
    245 Main Street - Suite 101
    Racine, WI  53403

    Dear Mr. Farley:

    Your letter dated August 20, 2001, was received via Federal Express at my
    attorney's office only this morning, August 22.  I hasten to respond.

    As you know, I have called you at your office twice since the announcement
    last Thursday of the formation of the Ad Hoc Committee and have not
    received the courtesy of a returned call.  Notwithstanding, we are
    prepared to meet with you, your counsel and any financial advisor that the
    Ad Hoc Committee of Independent Directors has chosen to negotiate a
    mutually binding confidentiality agreement and discuss the method, means
    and approach to our due diligence investigation to minimize the intrusion
    and disruption to HMX's operations and to be as efficient and as timely as
    possible.  Simultaneously, our lawyers and yours would complete an
    Acquisition Agreement on terms and conditions that would be mutually

    As part of the exchange of confidential information, we would certainly
    be able to satisfy your concerns about our ability to finance this
    transaction, though I must point out to you that this is a cash offer, of
    which $70m in cash equity is already committed.  We have heard from
    many institutional  investors who support our request for a meeting with
    you to move this process along.  They, and the market in general, have
    discounted the fear of financing that certain HMX insiders have tried to

    We appreciate the fact that HMX will need a fairness opinion, which no
    doubt would necessitate appropriate inquiry by the issuer of that opinion
    into the reasonableness of our offer.  We would also expect that the Board
    will insist on a "fiduciary out" in the Acquisition Agreement, to which we
    would  agree, provided that it affords us with an appropriate opportunity
    to meet a higher offer and a topping/break-up fee, if triggered.

    It serves no useful purpose to shadow box with us.  At the right time, we
    will comply with all SEC and regulatory obligations.

    I and my associates desire to proceed with this offer in as dignified a
    manner as circumstances allow.  We want to deescalate the ad hominem
    rhetoric as the behavior of some of the senior management people and at
    least one director who was quoted in the DNR article would reflect.  It
    also serves no useful purpose for HMX senior executives to seek support of
    their opposition to our offer from HMX's leading retail customers.
    Equally self-destructive are efforts to frighten HMX employees with
    references to UNITE's alleged concerns which, as you know by now, were
    unfounded.  We have thousands of happy UNITE members working for our
    affiliates.  We have done whatever we can to ameliorate these foolish
    steps which are all ultra vires and which will only feed the securities
    suit that has been filed against the directors.  We ask you and your other
    co-independent directors to do everything you can to facilitate this
    process and control the behavior of those who seek to derail our offer and
    that we move forward in a business like and professional manner.

    We await your phone call to set up the meeting we have requested.

    Very truly yours,

    Spencer Hays

Investors and security holders are strongly advised to read the business combination statement regarding the offer referred to in this press release when it becomes available because it will contain important information. The Lincoln Company LLC will file this statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the appropriate time. Investors and security holders may obtain a free copy of the statement (when available) at