GB Merchant Partners Invests in Como Fred David



    Creates New Company with Como's Principals to Facilitate the Next Wave of
    Growth

    BOSTON, March 31 /CNW/ -- GB Merchant Partners, the investment management
affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group, in partnership with Crystal Capital,
announced today that it acquired Como Fred David, a leading designer,
manufacturer and distributor of private label and branded women's tops.
    As part of the transaction, Como's principals, Paul Ostrov, Co-President
and Chief Executive Officer, and Andy Kirstein, Co-President and Chief
Merchandising Officer, will retain a significant ownership stake in the new
company, and will continue to oversee its growth and expansion along with its
existing, seasoned management team.
    "As we continue to expand our product offerings and strive to be the best
source of fashionable apparel to our retail partners, we needed a partner that
had a comprehensive understanding of both the retail and financial markets,"
stated Paul Ostrov. "GB Merchant Partners is uniquely situated to deliver on
both fronts and we look forward to working closely with them to facilitate our
next wave of growth."
    Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Como is a leading designer,
manufacturer and distributor of private label and branded women's apparel,
primarily fashionable blouses, shirts and sweaters to leading retailers in the
United States and Canada.
    "We are very excited about our investment in Como. Paul and Andy have
built a great team that places product quality and customer satisfaction at
the core of everything they do. This is evident as they continue to build
their business in the challenging retail and economic environment," said
Matthew Kahn, Managing Director, GB Merchant Partners.
    Kahn added that the team at GB Merchant Partners is looking forward to
working with Ostrov and Kirstein and their entire management team to assist
the Company in expanding its product offering and pursuing a shared vision for
the Company.
    The debt financing for the transaction was provided by CIT Commercial
Services.

    About GB Merchant Partners

    GB Merchant Partners, LLC ("GBMP") is the investment management affiliate
of Gordon Brothers Group, with over $500 million of capital under management.
The firm focuses on private equity, structured loan and secondary debt
investments.  Private equity investments are made through GBMP's 1903 Equity
Fund, which takes majority and minority equity positions in middle-market
retail and consumer products companies. GB Merchant Partners leverages Gordon
Brothers Group's consumer products and retail expertise, and prefers to
partner with management teams to complete a buyout, fund growth or facilitate
a restructuring.  Current private equity portfolio companies include: Como
Fred David, Clair de Lune, Deb Shops, Grafton Fraser, Things Remembered, Toys
R Us, Dollarama, Laura Secord and Amscan.  To learn more about GBMP please
visit (http://www.gbmerchantpartners.com).

    About Crystal Capital

    Established by a team of experienced financial professionals, Crystal
Capital is an investment firm that provides capital for middle market
companies across all industries. The founding principals each have over 25
years of experience and have provided in excess of $15 billion in creative
capital commitments for buyouts, recapitalizations, refinancings and growth
opportunities.

    About Como Fred David

    Headquartered in Montreal, Como Fred David is a leading Canadian
designer, manufacturer and distributor of private label and branded women's
apparel, primarily fashionable career woven blouses, shirts and sweaters to
leading retailers in the United States and Canada.





For further information:

For further information: Michael Rand, for GB Merchant Partners, 
+1-617-422-6271, mrand@gbmerchantpartners.com; or Susan Cronin, for Gordon 
Brothers Group, +1-617-422-6270, scronin@gordonbrothers.com Web Site:
http://www.gbmerchantpartners.com

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