NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 30, 2007) - Bear Stearns Merchant Banking ("BSMB"), a leading institutional private equity firm, today announced that it has added a new Senior Advisor, Phil Yates, an experienced executive in the global packaging industry. With 35 years of experience, Mr. Yates was most recently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Graham Packaging, a global provider of rigid plastic packaging. During his time as CEO, Phil drove sales from $500 million to $2.5 billion and was responsible for initiating industry-wide changes through the development of new packaging technologies.

"I am excited by the opportunity to work with BSMB in identifying and assisting growth-oriented packaging companies," said Mr. Yates. "This position allows me to apply both my knowledge of the industry and my history serving major consumer packaged goods companies. I look forward to pursuing investment opportunities with the BSMB team."

"We are pleased that Phil has chosen to join our firm," said Philip M. Carpenter III, Managing Director and Partner of BSMB. "Phil's vast experience and relationships make him a great asset to our packaging industry investment initiative."

The principals of BSMB have identified the packaging industry as an area of investment focus and have dedicated significant resources toward this effort. BSMB's portfolio currently includes Multi Packaging Solutions Inc., a leading provider of print-based packaging, which has completed four acquisitions over the past three years.

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. BSMB focuses on making control or entrepreneur-driven investments, principally in middle-market retail, financial services and consumer products companies. Since its formation in 1997, BSMB has been an investor in over 50 portfolio companies. BSMB manages nearly $5 billion of private equity capital, including its new $2.7 billion institutional fund and capital dedicated to its affiliate, Bear Growth Capital Partners. Investments by BSMB include: ACA Capital Holdings (NYSE: ACA), Alter Moneta, Balducci's, CamelBak Products, Caribbean Financial Group, Cavalry Investments, Churchill Financial Holdings, Dairyland, Everything But Water, Harlem Furniture, Ironshore Inc., Multi Packaging Solutions, New York & Company (NYSE: NWY), PlayCore, Seven For All Mankind, Stuart Weitzman, Transamerican Auto Parts Company and The Vitamin Shoppe. More information about BSMB is available at www.bsmb.com.

Contact Information: Contact: Melissa Daly or Elizabeth Patella Brunswick Group (212) 333-3810