Excello Products, LLC

November 17, 1999



Company led by Robert Ryan and Curt Rodenhouse Will Pursue Acquisitions of Kitchen Textile and Non-chemical Cleaning Products Companies

CHICAGO, IL: November 17, 1999… Excello Products, LLC, a newly formed Chicago-based holding company, today announced that it acquired Excello Limited, a leading producer of consumer kitchen textile products including flour sack towels, bar mops, glass towels, dish towels, aprons and oven mitts. Prospect Partners, L.P. formed Excello Products, LLC with Robert Ryan and Curt Rodenhouse for the purpose of recapitalizing Excello Limited and using it as a foundation to build a leading supplier of non-chemical cleaning products.

"This is an exciting development for Excello and it's many loyal customers and suppliers who have made the company successful over the past 13 years," said John Nikitas, former President and principal shareholder of Excello Limited. "With the energy and leadership of Bob Ryan and Curt Rodenhouse combined with the substantial financial resources of Prospect Partners, Excello is very well positioned to grow and even better serve its customer base." Excello will continue to operate from its headquarters in Chicago. John Nikitas will remain a shareholder and a member of the board of directors and Excello’s management and employees will continue in their current positions.

The company will be led by Robert Ryan, who will serve as Chief Executive Officer, and Curt Rodenhouse, who will serve as President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Ryan and Mr. Rodenhouse have a combined 40 years of experience in the housewares and non-chemical cleaning products industries. Mr. Ryan most recently served as Chairman and CEO of The Kellogg Companies and Brite Star Industries, Inc., where he worked closely with Mr. Rodenhouse in his capacity as COO and CFO. Mr. Ryan and Mr. Rodenhouse were both principals in the management-led acquisitions of Kellogg and Brite Star prior to the highly successful divestiture of those companies in 1995 and 1998, respectively.

"I am thrilled about the opportunity to build Excello and I am personally very excited to be working with the management and employees of Excello and with Prospect Partners in taking the company to the next level," said Ryan.

Prospect Partners, LLC of Chicago manages a $105 million private equity fund focused on management-led leveraged acquisitions and providing growth capital for lower middle market businesses with niche strategies. Richard C. Tuttle, William V. Glastris, Jr. and Edward H. Benford will serve as directors of the new company. "Excello is truly a quality-focused company and a perfect fit for our investment strategy. We are thrilled to be partners with Bob and Curt and look forward to helping their team build Excello over the coming years," said Mr. Tuttle.

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