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Central Lewmar and Strategic Paper Group Acquired

Monday, December 19, 2005

Press release from the issuing company

NEWARK, N.J., Dec. 16 -- Central Lewmar, LP and Strategic Paper Group, LLC have been acquired by Central Lewmar, LLC, an affiliate of 5Star Acquisition Corp., and Chrysalis Capital Partners, LP. The new company, with more than $800 million in combined revenue, is among the largest privately owned distributors of commercial writing and printing papers in the United States. Central Lewmar, LP, which traces its roots back to 1899, is a fine paper merchant and distributor of packaging materials and equipment, with over 600 employees, 13 operating divisions, nine retail paper outlets and seven warehouses servicing the seven state Mid-Atlantic region. Strategic Paper Group, LLC, has been an independent affiliate of Central Lewmar, LP, with seven offices nationwide and providing a creative, focused and cost-effective resource for the Catalog, Book, Brochure, Direct Mail, Documentation, Insert and Magazine Publishing segments and their paper sourcing needs. Leslie F. Stern, 5Star's principal, and the President and Chief Executive Officer of the new company stated, "Chrysalis and 5Star are very excited about the future of Central Lewmar and Strategic Paper Group. We strongly believe these acquisitions will provide the means to take the company to the next level in terms of providing outstanding customer service, offering the most beneficial range of products in our markets, employing the most experienced people in our industry and enhancing their financial strength, all of which secures our future stability and opportunities for growth." In addition to Stern's role as the new CEO, several members of existing management will continue to be part of the combined company's senior management team. These include Central Lewmar executives David Berkowitz, Donald Berkowitz, Jeffrey Ostroff, and Ken Englander, while Donald Heller and Al Gralnick will continue to lead the Strategic Paper Group team. "We look forward to working with Les Stern to strengthen the company's present position in its markets and its potential for growth," said Greg Segall, Managing Partner of Chrysalis Capital Partners, LP, a private equity investment fund based in the Philadelphia area. "We are confident that this acquisition presents a great opportunity for Central and Strategic to continue meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of their customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders." David Berkowitz, CEO of Central Lewmar, LP stated, "We believe the capital infusion by 5Star and Chrysalis, as well as Les Stern's leadership, will prove invaluable as the company enters the next phase of its development. We have known Les for many years and he brings significant management experience in the paper business, as well as the respect of our colleagues in the paper industry." The new company has already announced its intention to move ahead with a $2,000,000 investment into its Newark, New Jersey automated distribution center. Moreover, new marketing and informational materials will be developed and distributed immediately so that the company's customers will have the most up-to-date information on the breadth, depth and added value of Central Lewmar's vast array of products and services.

 

 

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