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June 3, 2008

BGL Makes a Splash with the Sale of H2O Plus, LLC

Brown Gibbons Lang & Company announced today the sale of H2O Plus, LLC. (“H2O Plus” or the “Company”) to Cordova, Smart & Williams, LLC (“CSW”), a New York-based private equity investment firm, and Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group (“Goldman Sachs”), a unit of the Merchant Banking Division within The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS). H2O Plus was acquired from its founder, Cindy Melk, who will remain with the Company as Chief Creative Officer. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, H2O Plus ( is a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of prestige, branded, water-based skincare products for the face and body. The Company markets an expansive portfolio of more than 160 products across three categories sold in 18 countries worldwide. The Company’s product development capabilities are supported by 500 proprietary formulations based on the principle of establishing clean, natural alternatives to the pore-clogging products pervasive in the global personal care products market. Through its unique ingredient concept, H2O Plus combines “water plus” natural sea-derived nutrients and state-of–the-art technology to improve and maintain healthy, and youthful-looking skin. Since the Company’s inception in 1989, H2O Plus has grown from what was a concept to an internationally recognized brand.

Cindy Melk, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of H2O Plus commented, “We are very pleased with the outcome of this transaction. BGL demonstrated exceptional discipline in managing a competitive process that highlighted the value of the H2O Plus brand, the Company’s competitive market position, and substantial growth opportunities in addition to enabling us to make a highly informed decision prior to selecting CSW and Goldman Sachs. BGL’s in-depth understanding of our business, seamless execution, and sound business judgment from start to finish resulted in a terrific outcome for the Company, its customers, and employees.”

BGL managing director & principal, John Tilson commented, “BGL is very pleased to have worked with H2O Plus on this transaction. The Company has built incredible momentum in recent years as its market position and brand equity have continued to strengthen. One of our many objectives during this engagement, in addition to maximizing value for our client, was to manage a process that would ultimately deliver an investor group well suited to facilitate the growth objectives of the business. We believe CSW and Goldman Sachs represent an ideal and committed financial partner equipped with the expertise and resources to enable the Company to realize its growth potential.”

About Cordova, Smart & Williams, LLC

Cordova, Smart & Wlliams, LLC, is a New York-based private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth capital financings for middle market companies in the general industrial and consumer products sectors. For more information on Cordova, Smart & Williams, LLC, please visit

About Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group

The Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group is part of the Merchant Banking Division within The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS), that invests growth capital in ethnic minority-owned or targ