NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 13, 2006 -- Churchill Financial Holdings LLC ("Churchill Financial"), a middle market commercial finance company, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Centre Pacific LLC ("Centre Pacific"), a leading manager of collateralized debt obligations ("CDOs") and other fixed income funds, from Centre Partners. Centre Pacific currently has approximately $3.25 billion in assets under management. In connection with the acquisition, Centre Pacific has been renamed Churchill Pacific Asset Management ("Churchill Pacific") and will become the platform for Churchill Financial's growth in the fixed income asset management area.

Churchill Pacific, based in Los Angeles, CA, is led by Heather E. Creeden, an experienced executive and portfolio manager, with over 20 years of fixed income asset management experience. The management team at Churchill Pacific also includes Stephen J. Ahearn, Director of Research, and Senior Portfolio Managers John M. Casparian and Kevin J. Hickam. The management team has worked together for over 15 years at Centre Pacific and, prior to that, at Transamerica Investment Services. They will continue to manage substantially all of the CDO vehicles and mutual funds currently being managed by Centre Pacific. In connection with the acquisition, Centre Partners will become an investor in Churchill Financial.

About Churchill Financial

Churchill Financial, based in New York, is a middle market commercial finance company focused on providing senior and mezzanine debt financing to smaller middle market companies, a market generally under served by larger commercial and investment banks. The firm targets lending to private equity firms and other investors who focus on acquiring and growing their companies. Churchill Financial was formed by Bear Stearns Merchant Banking ("BSMB") and Churchill Capital in February 2006 and has over $500 million of committed capital to support its financing activities.

About BSMB

BSMB, the private equity affiliate of The Bear Stearns Companies Inc (NYSE: BSC) invests private equity capital in compelling leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and growth capital opportunities alongside superior management teams. Since its formation in 1997, BSMB has been an investor in over 50 portfolio companies across a broad range of industries. BSMB currently manages more than $4.5 billion of institutional private equity capital. Recent investments by BSMB include: ACA Capital Holdings, Aearo Technologies (exited in 2006), Balducci's, CamelBak Products, Cavalry Investments, Churchill Financial Holdings, Hand Innovations (exited in 2006), Multi Packaging Solutions, New York & Company (NYSE: NWY), Reddy Ice (NYSE: FRZ), Seven For All Mankind, Stuart Weitzman, Transamerican Auto Parts Company and Vitamin Shoppe. More information about BSMB can be found at

Contact Information: Contact Melissa Daly or Gemma Hart Brunswick Group (212) 333-3810 Alastair Merrick Churchill Financial (212) 763-4612