Steven Kwok Joins Bear Venture

Steven Kwok has been named head of an Asian private equity joint venture of Bear Stearns and Eagle Investment Group. He previously was with Orchid Asia and, before that, was head of UBS Capital Greater China. The joint venture was announced earlier this year, with Bear Stearns and Eagle each committing up to $250 million.



The Bear Stearns Companies Inc. (” Bear Stearns”), a leading financial services firm, and Eagle Investment Group (“Eagle”), a Chinese investment firm, jointly announced today that Steven Kwok has joined as the head of their Asian-based private equity effort. In his new role, Mr. Kwok is responsible for managing the strategic alliance (the “Strategic Alliance”) between Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns Merchant Banking (“BSMB”) and Eagle. Through the Strategic Alliance, set up in early 2007, Bear Stearns and Eagle each pledged up to US$250 million to invest together, for a total co-investment fund platform of up to US$500 million.

The Strategic Alliance focuses on retail and consumer investment opportunities in China. BSMB is widely known for its experience investing in successful retail and consumer brands, including Aeropostale, New York & Co., Seven For All Mankind and Stuart Weitzman. Eagle's operations span retail, real estate development, mineralization and investment. It owns GOME Electronics (HKSE: 493), China's largest home appliance and consumer electronic goods retailer, and Zhongguanchun (SZSE: 000931). The Strategic Alliance will make investments throughout Greater China and will be headquartered in Hong Kong with offices in China.

Mr. Wong Kwong Yu, founder of GOME Electrical Group, serves as the chairman of Eagle. Mr. Wong commented, “Mr. Kwok, with his wealth of knowledge, multi-cultural background and experience in private equity in China, will enable the Strategic Alliance to capitalize on opportunities in China.”

BSMB Chief Executive Officer Mr. John Howard commented, “We are incredibly excited about the opportunities that exist in China for private equity investments. Mr. Kwok shares our vision for the Strategic Alliance and brings immense experience to our team. As the retail and consumer sectors continue to fuel China's economy, we look forward to investing in and offering our expertise to some of the country's strongest brands.”

Mr. Donald Tang, Vice Chairman of Bear Stearns, added, “Steven is a significant appointment for us. His joining our team demonstrates our commitment to support the Strategic Alliance and to build on our success in investing in China. I'm delighted that he has decided to join our effort and bring his deep China private equity investment management experience to the Strategic Alliance.”

Mr. Kwok joins the Strategic Alliance after serving as managing director and a key senior management member at Orchid Asia, an independent China-focused private equity fund managing more than US$450 million institutional capital. Prior to his tenure at Orchid Asia, Mr. Kwok was the head of UBS Capital Greater China and focused on growth capital investments. He also worked at The Carlyle Group in Asia and at Salomon Brothers in New York. Mr. Kwok is a native of China and earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

About Eagle Investment Group:

Chaired by Mr. Wong Kwong Yu, Eagle Investment Group is an investment holding company managing Pengrun Property and Pengtai Investment as well as Beijing Centergate Technologies. Its operations span real estate development, construction, property management, pharmaceuticals, securities, asset management and information technology. In March of 2007 Eagle invested in GOME Electronics, China's largest home appliance and consumer electronic goods retailer, which went public in Hong Kong in 2004. In 1987, Mr. Wong established GOME, which is the largest retail business listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE: 493) and is a member of the MSCI China Index. In 2006, Mr. Wong was voted one of Time Magazine's “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and his other awards include “World Young Entrepreneur,” “Ernst & Young China Retail Entrepreneur,” “Top Ten Retailers in China” and “Best Business Leader in China.”

About Bear Stearns:

Founded in 1923, The Bear Stearns Companies Inc. (NYSE: BSC) is a leading financial services firm serving governments, corporations, institutions and individuals worldwide. The Company's core business lines include institutional equities, fixed income, investment banking, global clearing services, asset management, and private client services. Headquartered in New York City, the Company has approximately 15,000 employees worldwide. For additional information about Bear Stearns, please visit the firm's Web site at .

About BSMB:

Founded in 1997, BSMB is a leading institutional private equity firm focused on making equity investments in middle-market companies. BSMB primarily invests in the retail, financial services and consumer products sectors. BSMB manages more than $5 billion of private equity capital. BSMB's retail and consumer products investments include Balducci's, Everything But Water, Francesca's Collections, Harlem Furniture, New York & Company, Seven for All Mankind (exited in 2007), Stuart Weitzman, Transamerican Auto Parts and Vitamin Shoppe Industries. BSMB seeks to partner with entrepreneurs and experienced management teams. BSMB investments have included growth opportunities, corporate orphans, industry consolidations and special situations, as well as restructurings. Through this alliance with GOME, BSMB will utilize its proven strategies to help build consumer and retail companies in China. For more information on BSMB, please visit the firm's Web site at .