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Trimaran Capital Partners Announces Formation of Trimaran Fund II at $1.043 Billion.

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NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 11, 2001

Trimaran Capital Partners, L.L.C. announced today the final closing of its second private equity fund, Trimaran Fund II, which has committed capital of $1.043 Billion. Trimaran Fund II will make private equity investments principally in the United States and Western Europe. Trimaran Capital Partners, managed by Jay R. Bloom, Andrew R. Heyer and Dean C. Kehler, also manages two collateralized bond obligation funds, Caravelle Funds I and II. Trimaran Capital Partners, with over $4 billion under management, is headquartered in New York.

Trimaran Fund II is the successor to CIBC Argosy Merchant Funds 1 & 2, which are best known as original investors in Global Crossing, Ltd., one of the most successful investments of the 1990s. Other investments by Trimaran's prior funds included: Petersen Publishing, a major magazine publisher that was later acquired by EMAP plc; Seat Pagine Gialle S.p.A., one of Italy's leading internet companies, which was later merged into Telecom Italia's Internet unit; Telebanc Financial Corporation, the largest independent Internet bank, which was later acquired by E*TRADE Group, Inc.; TNP Enterprises, which owns Texas New Mexico Power Company and was the first leveraged buyout of an integrated electric utility; and SpectraSite Holdings, Inc., a major cellular tower company.

Trimaran Capital Partners' three founders have been together since the mid 1980s. After working together as senior investment bankers at Drexel Burnham Lambert's New York office, they founded The Argosy Group, a boutique investment bank that advised, financed and invested in leveraged companies. Argosy developed from its beginnings as a 9-person advisory firm in l990 to a 50-person company that was acquired by CIBC in l995. Since then, this business has become the foundation of CIBC's leveraged finance operation, which has grown dramatically into one of the leading arrangers of bank and high yield debt both in the U.S. and Europe, with the group numbering over 350 at the end of 2000.

The principals of Trimaran are well known on Wall Street and continue to operate their funds on an entrepreneurial basis. "We use a value-driven, flexible investment approach that allows us to take advantage of market opportunities," said Andrew Heyer. "In fact, the name of the fund epitomizes the agility and partnership with which Trimaran operates. The dictionary defines a trimaran as a fast sailboat with three parallel hulls. Trimaran works together with management teams and other investors to respond quickly to investment opportunities in all sorts of market environments."

"There are always opportunities to invest. It's a question of recognizing opportunities early and structuring investments at valuations that make sense," said Jay Bloom. The rich deal history established by the three reinforces their investment philosophy. "For example," Bloom continued, "we invested in Global Crossing at a time when undersea fiber optic cables were not yet familiar to most investors. Later, as many others began to invest in telecom companies, we began to focus on new areas such as utilities: We sponsored the first leveraged buyout of a public electric utility, TNP Enterprises, parent of Texas New Mexico Power Company, in l999."

"The ever changing investment environment constantly creates new opportunities," said Dean Kehler. "Sometimes the hardest thing for an investor to do is to go against the grain. Because many investors are on the sidelines, we see valuations coming down in industries such as telecommunications and media." Recent Trimaran investments include CityNet Telecommunications, a leader in last-mile broadband infrastructure, and eLink Communications, a leading tenant-centric broadband communications services provider. Trimaran's current portfolio investments also include Iasis Healthcare, a Tennessee-based hospital company, and Village Voice Media, a leading publisher of alternative newspapers. Trimaran Fund II intends to invest in 20 or more portfolio companies in total.

Through Trimaran Advisors, Trimaran Capital Partners also manages the Caravelle Investment Funds. Caravelle Funds I and II are market-value collateralized bond obligation funds that invest primarily in four asset categories: leveraged loans; high yield bonds; mezzanine securities and private equity. Since initially being funded in July of 1998, these funds have grown to four in total, with assets under management of approximately $3 billion. In addition to Caravelle I and II, Trimaran Advisors manages two loan investment vehicles, Caravelle Loan Trust and SERVES L.L.C.

Since CIBC acquired Argosy in 1995, the Leveraged Finance Group has grown into a 350+ person department and is responsible for the bank's leveraged lending department as well as high yield origination, private placements, financial sponsor coverage, and a wide variety of advisory services. With professionals in New York, Los Angeles and London, The Group earned CIBC two prestigious Buyouts Newsletter awards this year: "2000 Large Market Deal of the Year" for TNP and "2000 Lender of the Year."

Said Andrew Heyer, "Trimaran is the next logical step in our relationship. From our beginnings at Drexel in the late l980's, through the founding of Argosy, and the building of a substantial leveraged finance business at CIBC, we have always worked very closely with each other and with a roster of outstanding management teams and investors. As we launch our second private equity fund, we look forward to continuing the partnerships we've developed over the years and to the next cycle in the investment market."

Trimaran Capital Partners, L.L.C. 425 Lexington Ave., Third Floor New York, NY 10017
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 11, 2001
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