Hal Pennington, chairman and CEO of Genesco Inc., on Wednesday sent a letter to Alan Cohen, chairman and CEO of The Finish Line, Inc. requesting that Finish Line “immediately consummate the merger with Genesco” and that both Finish Line and UBS, the deal's financers, fulfill their obligations under the merger agreement.

The full letter was released in a statement:

Dear Alan:

I am writing this letter to respond to Gary's letter of September 17 as well as to set forth our view of what The Finish Line needs to do to move toward closing.

First, let me reiterate that combining our businesses makes great strategic sense. Our team still looks forward to joining with yours.

On an ongoing basis, we have routinely shared detailed financial and operational information with The Finish Line and with UBS, and have responded promptly to numerous requests for specific information. We understand that you need certain information in order to be able to obtain the financing that you need to consummate the transaction, and there are detailed provisions in the Merger Agreement that provide how that cooperative process works. Clearly, UBS' most recent request comes within neither the spirit nor letter of our agreement. It is clear from their own statements that they are looking for a way out of their commitment — in our view, not because of Genesco's results but because the upheaval in the credit markets makes this deal less profitable for them. We are not going to allow the litigation consulting firm they have hired to go on a fishing expedition. We will, however, continue to provide both The Finish Line and UBS with information related to Genesco in accordance with the detailed processes set forth in the Merger Agreement. As you know, as recently as yesterday, we provided additional information required by UBS for inclusion in your offering memorandum.

The Merger Agreement generally provides that the closing of the merger shall be on a date no later than the second business day after the closing conditions to the merger have been satisfied. Our shareholders met Monday and voted overwhelmingly in favor of the transaction and we have satisfied all our conditions to closing. However, both The Finish Line and UBS have continually failed to meet deadlines that they established for their own actions relative to obtaining the financing to consummate the transaction. Consequently, Genesco hereby makes the following demands:

*that The Finish Line immediately consummate the merger with Genesco; and

*that The Finish Line immediately deliver a substantially completed draft offering memorandum relating to its proposed financing to UBS; that UBS confirm that such substantially completed draft offering memorandum complies with the terms of the Commitment Letter; that The Finish Line immediately schedule presentations to the rating agencies for the purpose of obtaining expedited ratings of The Finish Line's securities; and that The Finish Line enforce all its rights under the Commitment Letter.

I am sure you can appreciate the obligation we have to our shareholders to ensure that The Finish Line complies with its obligations under the Merger Agreement. Alan, I understand that your probable response is going to be to send me a long letter drafted by your lawyers telling me why you can't do the things we have demanded or why you need more time or why things are out of your control. Before you make that response, I encourage you to think about your obligations under the Merger Agreement, to think about the risks to your Company if you fail to comply with your obligations under the Merger Agreement, and whether you are going to continue to stall us or proceed to enforce your rights against UBS under the Commitment Letter. I look forward to hearing from you and working with you to expeditiously consummate the transaction.

Very truly yours,

Hal N. Pennington,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer