Sentinel completes sale of Floral Plant Growers to Blue Point Capital Partners


Leading Regional Producer of Specialty Floriculture Poised for Continued Growth


NEW YORK, October 28, 2004 - Sentinel Capital Partners announced today the sale of Floral Plant Growers, L.L.C., a leading regional producer and marketer of floriculture products, to Blue Point Capital Partners and members of the management team.

Floral Plant Growers, headquartered in Denmark, Wisconsin, produces, markets and sells floriculture products to mass-merchant retailers. Floral's primarily product is bedding plants, which are small-blooming flowers sold in trays for planting in gardens or flower boxes, a rapidly growing segment of the horticulture market that has grown 10% annually for the past 10 years. Floral manages more than 70 acres of production capacity in five highly automated greenhouses in Maryland, Delaware, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana.

"Floral is superbly positioned for continued prosperity after successfully implementing a number of strategic growth initiatives designed to improve the operations of the business on our watch," said John McCormack, co-founder and Senior Partner of Sentinel. "Sentinel's investment team partnered with Floral's experienced management to grow the business and create value for Floral's shareholders. Demographic trends have made gardening one of the most popular past time activities and strong interest in this category will continue. We expect Blue Point will also provide additional creative talent to continue Floral's growth.

Sentinel acquired Floral in 1996. Eric Bommer, a partner at Sentinel, said, "During Sentinel's ownership, we worked closely with Floral's management team to implement sophisticated operational processes that enabled Floral to better serve its customer base of big-box retailers and mass merchants. Also, we are very pleased with Sentinel's investment returns on this transaction. We have enjoyed working closely with Floral's management team and wish them great success."

Dean Chaloupka, president of Floral Plant Growers who will continue in this capacity, said, "We are very proud of all we have achieved over the past several years. We look forward with great excitement toward our next phase of development with the team at Blue Point and we are very pleased to have worked so closely with Sentinel's experienced group of executives who helped us drive the business.

Sentinel was advised in the transaction by Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin, a leading international investment bank. Houlihan Lokey served as exclusive financial advisor, and helped structure and negotiate the sale of Floral on behalf of Sentinel.