October 26, 2007

The Sterling Group, L.P. Completes Acquisition of Universal Fiber Systems, LLC

​Houston, Texas – October 26, 2007
– The Sterling Group, L.P. (“Sterling”), a Houston-based private equity investment firm, today announced that it has finalized the acquisition of Universal Fiber Systems, LLC (“UFS”), headquartered in Bristol, VA. The acquisition was financed with equity primarily from Sterling Group Partners II, L.P. and debt financing was solely arranged by BNP Paribas.

UFS is a leading niche manufacturer of high-performance, specialty synthetic fibers for niche segments of the commercial carpet, transportation carpet, and specialty textile industries. UFS acts as a strategic partner to its blue-chip customer base of leading commercial carpet manufacturers, Tier 1 automotive suppliers, and value-added textile manufacturers by supplying specialty yarn synthesized from nylon, polyester, and specialty polymers needed to produce a diverse range of unique end-products. UFS is collectively led by three key executives: R. Marcus Ammen, Chief Financial Officer; Bentley E. Park, President, Universal Fibers; and John T. Amirtharaj, President, Premiere Fibers.

“Sterling has invested in several fiber businesses, including Fiber Industries and Propex Inc. We are excited to find this opportunity where we feel we can add value post closing,” said Billy Oehmig, a Partner with Sterling. “UFS is a good fit for us and we look forward to working with an outstanding management team and the excellent board of industry experts whom we have assembled.”

The Stephens Group, LLC was a co-investor with Sterling in the transaction.

About The Stephens Group, LLC

The Stephens Group is a private, family-owned firm that invests in private and public companies in growing industries with exceptional management teams that can deliver high returns on the firm’s invested capital. The principals of the firm have more than 70 years of history successfully investing in both minority and control positions across multiple industries. The Stephens Group, through its affiliates, has large positions in gas exploration and production (Stephens Production Company), natural gas gathering and processing (Energy Transfer Partners, (NYSE:ETP)), energy services (North American Energy Partners (NYSE:NOA), JV Industrial Companies, and Seminole Energy Services, Multi-Shot), media, communications, consumer, manufacturing (Viking Range Corporation), and other industries. The Stephens Group typically provides equity capital of $5 million to $75 million dollars per transaction and looks to invest $100-$200 million per year.

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