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The Sterling Group Announces the Sale of HydroChem Holding, Inc.

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    HOUSTON, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sterling Group is pleased to announce
 the sale of HydroChem Holding, Inc. ("HydroChem" or the "Company"), a
 portfolio company of The Sterling Group, to OCM HydroChem Holdings, LLC, an
 acquisition vehicle controlled by funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management
 LLC of Los Angeles, California.  The transaction closed December 31, 2004.
 Harris Williams & Co. acted as the exclusive advisor to HydroChem and The
 Sterling Group.
     HydroChem ( ), headquartered near the Houston Ship
 Channel in Deer Park, Texas, is the premier provider of industrial cleaning
 services to a wide range of process industries that require recurring
 maintenance to improve or sustain operating efficiencies and extend the useful
 lives of their equipment and facilities.  Through its broad service offering,
 excellent safety record, and outstanding service delivery, the Company has
 attracted a diversified base of blue-chip Fortune 500/S&P Global 1200
 customers operating in a wide range of process industries, including
 petrochemicals, oil refining, utilities, and pulp and paper.
     The Sterling Group ( ) is a Houston-based
 private equity investment firm engaged in the acquisition and ownership of
 operating businesses.  Sterling was founded in 1982 and targets control
 investments in basic manufacturing, industrial services and distribution
 companies with enterprise values typically between $100 million and
 $500 million.  Sterling partners with management teams to acquire companies
 where Sterling has identified specific opportunities to grow and improve the
 business.  Sterling has sponsored the buyouts of 29 portfolio companies and
 numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value greater than
 $6.5 billion.
     Oaktree Capital Management, LLC ( ) is a leading
 private investment firm that manages in excess of $28 billion in select niche
 investment markets for institutions and individuals.  Oaktree's Principal
 Opportunities Group manages funds with over $3.5 billion in committed capital
 for private equity investments and has a history of partnering with management
 teams to create long-term value for the entities in which it invests.
     Harris Williams & Co. is the largest independently owned mergers and
 acquisitions advisory firm in the country focused exclusively on the middle
 market.  With offices in Richmond, San Francisco, and Boston, Harris Williams
 & Co. represents private equity groups as well as publicly and privately held
 companies worldwide.  For more information about Harris Williams & Co., please
 visit .

SOURCE The Sterling Group

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