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JBWere Acquires 7 Companies

JBWere New Zealand

Media Release for Immediate Release (Embargoed until 1.30pm 12/12/02)

12 December 2002

PRIVATE EQUITY FUND ACQUIRES SEVEN NEW ZEALAND ICON COMPANIES

JBWere New Zealand Private Equity No.1 Fund Acquires Viking Pacific Group of Companies

Auckland, 12 December 2002 - JBWere (NZ) Limited announced today that its Private Equity No. 1 Fund has made a major investment by acquiring all the trading subsidiaries and Head Office business of Viking Pacific Holdings Limited ("Viking Pacific").

The Viking Pacific group of companies comprises seven New Zealand heritage brands such as Masport Limited, Masport Foundries Limited, Paykel Limited, New Zealand Insulators Limited, Pacific Wallcoverings Limited, A & G Price Limited and R H Freeman & Co Limited.

Clark Perkins, Chairman of the Private Equity Fund says the deal will give the Private Equity Fund an immediate critical mass and position it strategically for further acquisitions in the future.

"JBWere is excited at becoming associated with some of New Zealand's icon manufacturing names. The acquisition of seven companies from Viking Pacific puts our first Private Equity Fund firmly on the investment map, with a diversified set of businesses which have a long and successful history.

"The acquisition fulfils the recent commitment in our first Private Equity prospectus to look for established, high quality businesses with the ability to generate excellent profits," says Perkins.

Perkins also says that the Private Equity Fund was primarily established to undertake investment that delivers significant and sustained value, and potential growth opportunities to investors.

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"The proposed acquisition of the Viking Pacific group of companies fits the profile of the type of investment that we believe will achieve and deliver superior investment returns."

The focus of the Private Equity Fund is to establish an investment portfolio which is diversified across industries, with particular emphasis on later stage investment.

Paul Chrystall, Head of Private Equity at JBWere (NZ) also adds that throughout the process of reviewing the Viking Pacific acquisition JBWere (NZ) has been impressed with what it had seen.

"We consider the businesses to have excellent prospects in their specific markets and we look forward to a long-term commitment by our Private Equity Fund to the companies we have acquired. The professionalism and experience of the management and staff of each of the companies concerned has been a very positive feature," says Chrystall.

Arthur Young, Chairman of Viking Pacific says "We consider this transaction to be an excellent outcome for both Viking Pacific and JBWere Private Equity, and wish JBWere Private Equity every success with the Group."

Completion of the transaction will occur on 20 December 2002.

ENDS

About JBWere

New Zealand Private Equity No.1 Fund The aim of the Fund is to generate for investors an appropriate return from private equity investments. To date the Fund has already made an investment in Cadmus Technologies Limited, a leading electronic payment solutions and point of sale (EFTPOS) provider.

A unique feature of the Fund is its strategic relationship with JBWere Group, a leading investment bank in the New Zealand and Australian capital markets. This strategic relationship will give the Fund unparalleled access to private equity and other specialized investment opportunities.

For more information please visit our web site at www.jbwere.co.nz


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