Former Senior FBR Bankers and Leading Asian Conglomerate Announce The Formation of Milestone Merchant Partners, LLC

The Koo's Group and Management Also Form Milestone Capital Partners, LP



Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from Milestone Merchant Partners, LLC

    WASHINGTON, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Koo's Group and its private
 equity investment company, Hong Kong-based KG NextVision, have joined with a
 group of former senior bankers from Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., Inc.
 (NYSE:   FBR) to create a Washington, DC-based merchant bank -- Milestone
 Merchant Partners, LLC.  The firm was formed to pursue private equity
 investments and to provide high quality financial advisory services.
 Milestone's financial advisory practice involves mergers, acquisitions,
 business development and restructurings, as well as sourcing capital for
 special situations.  The partners and founders of Milestone have particular
 expertise and transaction experience in the financial services industry.
 Collectively, the management team has completed over $10 billion in capital
 markets transactions, including approximately 100 M&A engagements.
     In addition, Milestone Merchant Partners and The Koo's Group announced the
 formation of Milestone Capital Partners, LP, a private equity partnership
 formed to invest opportunistically in a range of industries, with a particular
 focus on the financial services sector.  The Koo's Group is a leading business
 conglomerate in the Asia-Pacific region.  Its flagship holding is Chinatrust
 Commercial Bank, a US$18 billion bank with operations throughout Asia and the
 United States.
     The founding management team of Milestone includes Steven J. Quamme,
 Eugene S. Weil, Robert H. Hartheimer, John J. Nelligan, J. Brandon Turner, and
 Christie Morrissey-Smith.  All but Mr. Quamme joined Milestone after leaving
 Friedman, Billings, Ramsey.  "We are very excited about our partnership with
 The Koo's Group and KG NextVision," said Steven J. Quamme, a managing partner
 of Milestone.  "Together, the Koo's Group, KG NextVision and Milestone are
 able to create unique synergies for our portfolio companies and advisory
 clients.  We are also uniquely positioned to provide access to the Asian
 markets for high growth domestic businesses."
     "The Milestone business model is designed to leverage the transaction
 experience and industry knowledge generated by our financial advisory services
 with select, very opportunistic private equity investments," said Eugene S.
 Weil, a managing partner of Milestone and the former head of FBR's financial
 institutions' mergers and acquisitions practice.  Mr. Weil also said, "we
 believe our principals' skills and the resources of The Koo's Group will most
 effectively be leveraged in transactions that require higher levels of pre-
 transaction structuring, management enhancement or financial engineering.  We
 expect to further enhance these "manufactured" transactions by providing
 strategic advice and assistance with subsequent acquisitions, financings,
 strategic partnerships and, ultimately, liquidity events."
     Dr. Jeffrey L.S. Koo, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
 Chinatrust Commercial Bank and the co-founder of The Koo's Group, serves as
 the Chairman of Milestone's board of directors.  Joining him on the board are
 Mr. Jeffrey Koo, Jr., the President of Chinatrust Commercial Bank, Mr. Steven
 C.Z. Cheng, the Chief Operating Officer of KG NextVision, and Edwin Rogers, a
 founding partner of Barbour, Griffith, & Rogers.  Messrs. Quamme and Weil also
 serve on the Board of Directors.  Milestone's advisory board includes Haley
 Barbour, former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, James A. Baker
 IV, partner in Baker Botts, Malcolm Lassman, a founding partner of Akin, Gump,
 Strauss, Hauer & Feld's Washington office, and Ethan Meister, Chief Financial
 Officer of KG NextVision.
     "Milestone's management team has a unique set of skills and strengths,
 especially in financial services," said Jeffrey Koo, Junior, President of
 Chinatrust Commercial Bank.  "We recognize that together we will be able to
 offer clients and partners some unique advantages in their respective market
 places.  Whether it is facilitating a strategic relationship or identifying
 new market opportunities, Milestone will be an active and valuable partner to
 its clients."
 
     About Milestone Merchant Partners, LLC
     Milestone Merchant Partners, LLC (http://www.milestonecap.com ) is a
 merchant bank located in Washington, D.C.  Milestone's partners and KG
 NextVision, a Hong Kong-based affiliate of The Koo's Group, formed Milestone
 to pursue opportunistic private equity investments and to provide high quality
 financial advisory services.  Milestone Merchant Partners and The Koo's Group
 also manage Milestone Capital Partners, LP, a private equity fund formed to
 invest opportunistically in a wide range of industries.
 
     About The Koo's Group
     The Koo's Group is a leading business conglomerate in the Asia-Pacific
 region.  Originally founded in Taiwan by Dr. Jeffrey L.S. Koo and Dr. C.F.
 Koo, The Koo's Group has expanded over the past 50 years from traditional
 manufacturing to financial services, high technology, telecommunications and
 other global service industries.  The flagship holding of The Koo's Group is
 Chinatrust Commercial Bank (http://www.chinatrust.com.tw ), one of the largest
 commercial banks in Taiwan with over US$18 billion in assets. With significant
 Asia-wide presence, The Koo's Group has established leadership positions in
 many industries.  Its key strengths include region-wide business and
 government relationships, multi-channel customer access, and a track record of
 successful partnership with Western multinational companies.  In all, The
 Koo's Group encompasses over 80 companies and more than 20,000 employees
 worldwide. The total assets of The Koo's Group amount to more than US$36
 billion.
 
     About KG NextVision
     KG NextVision (http://www.kgnv.com ) is the private equity arm of The
 Koo's Group and is listed on the Hang Seng exchange in Hong Kong.  It takes
 equity stakes in both public and privately-held companies.  KG NextVision
 seeks investments that complement the activities of The Koo's Group.  By
 leveraging the network and resources of The Group, KG NextVision also looks to
 partner with companies that have ambitions to expand their presence and
 capabilities in Asia.
 
 

SOURCE Milestone Merchant Partners, LLC
    WASHINGTON, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Koo's Group and its private
 equity investment company, Hong Kong-based KG NextVision, have joined with a
 group of former senior bankers from Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., Inc.
 (NYSE:   FBR) to create a Washington, DC-based merchant bank -- Milestone
 Merchant Partners, LLC.  The firm was formed to pursue private equity
 investments and to provide high quality financial advisory services.
 Milestone's financial advisory practice involves mergers, acquisitions,
 business development and restructurings, as well as sourcing capital for
 special situations.  The partners and founders of Milestone have particular
 expertise and transaction experience in the financial services industry.
 Collectively, the management team has completed over $10 billion in capital
 markets transactions, including approximately 100 M&A engagements.
     In addition, Milestone Merchant Partners and The Koo's Group announced the
 formation of Milestone Capital Partners, LP, a private equity partnership
 formed to invest opportunistically in a range of industries, with a particular
 focus on the financial services sector.  The Koo's Group is a leading business
 conglomerate in the Asia-Pacific region.  Its flagship holding is Chinatrust
 Commercial Bank, a US$18 billion bank with operations throughout Asia and the
 United States.
     The founding management team of Milestone includes Steven J. Quamme,
 Eugene S. Weil, Robert H. Hartheimer, John J. Nelligan, J. Brandon Turner, and
 Christie Morrissey-Smith.  All but Mr. Quamme joined Milestone after leaving
 Friedman, Billings, Ramsey.  "We are very excited about our partnership with
 The Koo's Group and KG NextVision," said Steven J. Quamme, a managing partner
 of Milestone.  "Together, the Koo's Group, KG NextVision and Milestone are
 able to create unique synergies for our portfolio companies and advisory
 clients.  We are also uniquely positioned to provide access to the Asian
 markets for high growth domestic businesses."
     "The Milestone business model is designed to leverage the transaction
 experience and industry knowledge generated by our financial advisory services
 with select, very opportunistic private equity investments," said Eugene S.
 Weil, a managing partner of Milestone and the former head of FBR's financial
 institutions' mergers and acquisitions practice.  Mr. Weil also said, "we
 believe our principals' skills and the resources of The Koo's Group will most
 effectively be leveraged in transactions that require higher levels of pre-
 transaction structuring, management enhancement or financial engineering.  We
 expect to further enhance these "manufactured" transactions by providing
 strategic advice and assistance with subsequent acquisitions, financings,
 strategic partnerships and, ultimately, liquidity events."
     Dr. Jeffrey L.S. Koo, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
 Chinatrust Commercial Bank and the co-founder of The Koo's Group, serves as
 the Chairman of Milestone's board of directors.  Joining him on the board are
 Mr. Jeffrey Koo, Jr., the President of Chinatrust Commercial Bank, Mr. Steven
 C.Z. Cheng, the Chief Operating Officer of KG NextVision, and Edwin Rogers, a
 founding partner of Barbour, Griffith, & Rogers.  Messrs. Quamme and Weil also
 serve on the Board of Directors.  Milestone's advisory board includes Haley
 Barbour, former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, James A. Baker
 IV, partner in Baker Botts, Malcolm Lassman, a founding partner of Akin, Gump,
 Strauss, Hauer & Feld's Washington office, and Ethan Meister, Chief Financial
 Officer of KG NextVision.
     "Milestone's management team has a unique set of skills and strengths,
 especially in financial services," said Jeffrey Koo, Junior, President of
 Chinatrust Commercial Bank.  "We recognize that together we will be able to
 offer clients and partners some unique advantages in their respective market
 places.  Whether it is facilitating a strategic relationship or identifying
 new market opportunities, Milestone will be an active and valuable partner to
 its clients."
 
     About Milestone Merchant Partners, LLC
     Milestone Merchant Partners, LLC (http://www.milestonecap.com ) is a
 merchant bank located in Washington, D.C.  Milestone's partners and KG
 NextVision, a Hong Kong-based affiliate of The Koo's Group, formed Milestone
 to pursue opportunistic private equity investments and to provide high quality
 financial advisory services.  Milestone Merchant Partners and The Koo's Group
 also manage Milestone Capital Partners, LP, a private equity fund formed to
 invest opportunistically in a wide range of industries.
 
     About The Koo's Group
     The Koo's Group is a leading business conglomerate in the Asia-Pacific
 region.  Originally founded in Taiwan by Dr. Jeffrey L.S. Koo and Dr. C.F.
 Koo, The Koo's Group has expanded over the past 50 years from traditional
 manufacturing to financial services, high technology, telecommunications and
 other global service industries.  The flagship holding of The Koo's Group is
 Chinatrust Commercial Bank (http://www.chinatrust.com.tw ), one of the largest
 commercial banks in Taiwan with over US$18 billion in assets. With significant
 Asia-wide presence, The Koo's Group has established leadership positions in
 many industries.  Its key strengths include region-wide business and
 government relationships, multi-channel customer access, and a track record of
 successful partnership with Western multinational companies.  In all, The
 Koo's Group encompasses over 80 companies and more than 20,000 employees
 worldwide. The total assets of The Koo's Group amount to more than US$36
 billion.
 
     About KG NextVision
     KG NextVision (http://www.kgnv.com ) is the private equity arm of The
 Koo's Group and is listed on the Hang Seng exchange in Hong Kong.  It takes
 equity stakes in both public and privately-held companies.  KG NextVision
 seeks investments that complement the activities of The Koo's Group.  By
 leveraging the network and resources of The Group, KG NextVision also looks to
 partner with companies that have ambitions to expand their presence and
 capabilities in Asia.
 
 SOURCE  Milestone Merchant Partners, LLC