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March 12, 2008 - Castle Harlan Affiliate CHAMP Buys Australian Construction Company

NEW YORK, March 12, 2008 - Castle Harlan, Inc., the New York private equity investment firm, announced today that its Australian affiliate CHAMP Private Equity has purchased Golding Contractors Pty Ltd, a company active in the mining industry and in public infrastructure projects. The price was not disclosed.

 

The company, founded in 1942 by Cyril Golding, is based in Gladstone, Queensland, in northeast Australia. Total revenues in 2007 were more than A$350 million, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to approximately A$50 million.

 

"The Golding family is pleased that an organization like CHAMP has purchased the company," Golding said. "I believe that Golding together with CHAMP will continue to grow and maintain its enviable position in Queensland."

 

Cameron Buchanan, the CHAMP managing director who led the acquisition team, said Golding was "an iconic Queensland company with an exemplary industry reputation, a long-term, blue-chip client base and an outstanding sustained growth performance."

 

He also noted that despite the difficult credit market, the transaction shows that, "for the right deals with the right private-equity sponsor, bank funding is very much available."

 

Existing management, headed by Chief Executive Officer Trevor Davies, will continue to hold a significant ownership stake in the company. Davies said the company welcomed the financial and strategic support that CHAMP will provide.

 

He noted that the mining sector in Queensland is booming and the company has a heavy backlog of public infrastructure projects on its schedule. "Golding is well positioned for future growth," Davies said.

 

CHAMP Private Equity was formed in 2000 as Castle Harlan Australian Mezzanine Partners by the founders of CHAMP Private Equity's predecessor and Castle Harlan. CHAMP Private Equity and its predecessor have made more than 60 investments since 1987 in companies operating in Australia and New Zealand.

 

The combined worldwide funds under the management of CHAMP Private Equity and Castle Harlan exceed A$5 billion. CHAMP Private Equity and its predecessor funds have recorded an annual return on funds invested of approximately 30 percent since 1987. CHAMP Funds have acquired and successfully exited from investments in a variety of sectors, including Austar United Communications, the satellite TV broadcaster for most of Australia, Bradken Limited, Australia's largest foundry for large metal castings, and Penrice Limited, the only producer of soda ash in Australia.

 

Current CHAMP portfolio companies include: International Energy Services, Manassen Foods, Healthcare Australia, Study Group International, United Malt Holdings and Blue Star Print Group Limited.

 

Castle Harlan, founded in 1987, invests in controlling interests in the buyout and development of middle-market companies in North America, Europe and, together with CHAMP, in Australasia. It has completed 48 acquisitions since its inception with a total value in excess of $9 billion.

 

Castle Harlan's current portfolio companies, which employ more than 42,000 people, include Ames True Temper, a leading manufacturer of lawn and garden tools and accessories; Baker & Taylor, the leading global distributor of books and entertainment products to libraries and retailers, and Perkins & Marie Callender's, Inc., which operates and franchises 618 family restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.