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June 22, 2006

NEW YORK, NY – Berggruen Holdings has successfully closed a $100 million senior secured credit facility for Cascade Grain Products, the largest destination ethanol plant on the west coast.  The facility supports the construction and operation of the first large scale plant in the Pacific Northwest with a state of the art 113.4 million gallon per year corn-based dry mill fuel grade ethanol plant.  The plant is designed by Delta T and will be constructed by JH Kelly LLC Ethanol, a joint venture between TIC and JH Kelly Construction.    FocalPoint served as exclusive financial advisor to Berggruen Holdings in connection with the debt financing which closed on June 13, 2006.

The Cascade Grain financing arranged and led by WestLB, was more than 1.5 times oversubscribed and represents the first “Destination Plant” to be broadly syndicated among multiple investor classes.  The facility incorporates a loan from Oregon’s Department of Energy that shares in the collateral with the senior credit facility.

 “Having developed its expertise, infrastructure and strategic partnerships, Berggruen is dedicated to developing a significant platform and building an industry leader able to develop ethanol as an alternative energy source,” commented Charles Carlson, CEO of Cascade Grain Products, LLC.  
“Project finance can be very complex particularly for ethanol projects.  There is a fair amount of uncertainty about how the industry will evolve and there are inherent risks such as commodity price mismatch between the corn supply and the ethanol output,” noted Daniel Conway, Managing Director at FocalPoint. “We were effectively able to communicate the relative strengths of this destination plant including its low cost of production and its strong strategic partnerships.“ 

About FocalPoint
FocalPoint is an independent investment bank, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, private placements (both debt and equity), and financial restructurings. The firm’s primary focus is on middle-market companies with revenues between $10 million and $250 million in a diverse range of industries.

Please feel free to contact Daniel Conway (818) 728-6047 with any questions about this transaction.