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BSMB Announces Plans to Become Independent Private Equity Firm

June 5, 2008

Bear Stearns Merchant Banking (BSMB), a leading private equity firm focused on middle-market investments, today announced that it soon will become an unaffiliated independent company. The Bear Stearns Companies Inc., a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co., will retain a passive interest in certain affiliates of BSMB and will continue to be responsible for co-investment commitments with respect to funds currently managed by BSMB.

BSMB intends to change its name and will move its operations from its current location to new offices in New York City. BSMB will continue its investment strategy that revolves around its deep industry expertise in both its core (retail/consumer, financial services) and emerging (energy, industrial, healthcare, packaging, transportation) focus areas and establishing close partnerships with world-class managers and entrepreneurs.

The firm utilizes creative and flexible approaches in structuring investments in order to suit the needs of portfolio companies and sellers. The Partners of BSMB have a long and successful history in the private equity industry dating back to the 1980s and are known for seeing value where others do not and for helping to build and grow industry-leading companies.

“We are pleased to transition into this new stage of our business,” said John D. Howard, Chief Executive Officer of BSMB. “We have built a successful investment portfolio, strategy and team of more than fifty professionals over the past eleven years. While we will be an independent entity, our strategy, industry focus, portfolio and current funds will remain in place.”