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February 14, 2006

Brown Gibbons Lang & Company Steers Four Wheel Drive

Brown Gibbons Lang & Company today announced the sale of its client Four Wheel Drive Hardware, LLC to Transamerican Auto Parts Company, LLC, a portfolio company of Bear Stearns Merchant Banking.

Founded in 1977 in Columbiana, Ohio, Four Wheel Drive is the leading catalog and Internet retailer of Jeep, Porsche, Mercedes and Toyota truck aftermarket parts and accessories in the United States.

Four Wheel Drive’s owners, Pfingsten Partners LLC and Svoboda, Collins LLC, sought an advisor that would maximize the company’s value. John Underwood of Pfingsten Partners said, “BGL demonstrated its expertise in distribution and direct marketing. They effectively communicated the unique characteristics of Four Wheel Drive’s business to potential buyers through quality marketing materials and orchestrated a well-executed, timely transaction process. This combination – along with delivering upon the promise of senior-level involvement – was an important factor in bringing this transaction to a successful close.”

With over 54,000 SKUs, Four Wheel Drive carries the broadest range of parts and accessories for its vehicle enthusiast customers to maintain, modify and restore their vehicles. Generating 2005 sales of approximately $75 million, Four Wheel Drive holds the number one or number two position in each of its served markets. Four Wheel Drive complements Transamerican Auto Part’s off-road automotive aftermarket platform, adding a substantial catalog and Internet presence to the platform’s industry-leading bricks-and-mortar retail operations.

“This sale is a great outcome for the owners of Four Wheel Drive,” said Michelle Collins of Svoboda, Collins. “BGL did a fantastic job in constructing a robust sale process, which yielded several interested parties and a strong winner.”

About Bear Stearns Merchant Banking

Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, the private equity affiliate of The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. (NYSE: BSC) invests private equity capital in compelling leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and growth capital opportunities alongside superior management teams. Bear Stearns Merchant

Banking is currently investing its $1.5 billion institutional private equity fund. More information about Bear Stearns Merchant Banking can be found at

Portfolio company Transamerican Auto Parts Company, LLC is a leading participant in aftermarket parts and accessories for light trucks, Jeeps, sport utility vehicles and other four wheel drive vehicles. TAP sells tires and wheels, suspension systems, drivetrains, accessories and other products (i) to consumers through 45 retail locations, (ii) to more than 4,000 wholesale customers, including specialty auto parts stores, tire and wheel stores, repair and garage shops, Internet retailers and jobbers, and (iii) to consumers and businesses through mail order and Internet operations.

About Pfingsten Partners

Deerfield, Ill.-based Pfingsten Partners, LLC is an operationally-oriented private equity firm formed in 1989 to make equity investments in middle market manufacturing, distribution and specialty publishing companies. Since completing its first investment in January 1991, Pfingsten Partners has built value by providing capital, corporate finance and operating resources nec