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Mid Europa supports Central European expansion of Wheelabrator Group

17 February 2006

Mid Europa Partners ("Mid Europa"), the largest private equity firm focused on Central and Eastern Europe, announces today its acquisition of Wheelabrator Group, the world's leading surface preparation and finishing equipment specialist.

Mid Europa has completed the acquisition of all outstanding Wheelabrator Group equity through its Emerging Europe Convergence Fund II LP, from a group of private investors led by Bard & Company of the United States.

"Mid Europa's strategy is to identify and realise growth opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe. In Wheelabrator Group we have found a company which shares our view about the potential of the Region" said Zbigniew Rekusz, the head of Mid Europa's office in Poland. "Wheelabrator is the top industry player with over 20% of the global market share, outstanding brand recognition and leadership in technology and product development. We will work with its management to see that it enhances its leadership position, both regionally and globally".

Wheelabrator Group's operations in Poland are currently limited to a small facility near Poznań. The Company plans to make significant investments and expand its facilities in Poland. Zbigniew Rekusz commented: "Wheelabrator is making a strong commitment to the Region, through expanding its operations in Poland.  Poland will become the hub of Wheelabrator's expansion in Central and Eastern Europe and further East and a new base for its global growth strategy.

We are confident that Wheelabrator will make a significant contribution to the Polish economy. The new investment will create several hundred jobs in the next 18-24 months. Wheelabrator is a very innovative company recognized as a leader in manufacturing technology.  Its decision to establish the regional hub in Poland should enhance the country's position in the development of sophisticated engineering solutions and advanced products.

"Our support of the Company's plans indicates our confidence in Poland, its economy and its people. It also shows our long term commitment to the Region, which we believe has an outstanding growth potential.  Within two months of closing our second fund of EUR655m this is already our second very significant investment in Poland" added Zbigniew Rekusz.

MEP has been represented in Warsaw since 2004. Its other investments in Poland include Aster, the cable TV operator.

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