Company Provides Products and Services to the Steel Industry;

Agreement is Platinum’s Third Transaction Announcement in the Past Week

LOS ANGELES (October 24, 2005) – Platinum Equity announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ESM Group Inc., a leading provider of products and services to the steel industry headquartered in Amherst, N.Y.

The seller is Degussa AG, the global market leader in specialty chemicals based in Dusseldorf, Germany. ESM Group was part of the metallurgy business that Degussa designated as non-core and divested in four modules in order to focus on the company’s core specialty chemicals business.

ESM provides a variety of products and services to the steel industry, including desulphurization and secondary metallurgy services, caster segment maintenance, equipment design and manufacture, as well as the supply of specialty magnesium to non-steel related industries. In fiscal 2004 its 275 employees generated sales of around US$150 million. (EU€125 million).

Platinum intends to grow market share in several key areas, including the desulphurization and secondary chemical marketplace and the caster and mould maintenance industry, according to senior vice president Jacob Kotzubei.

“ESM is a profitable company with long-term customer relationships and leading technology, led by an experienced and capable management team,” Mr. Kotzubei said. “We believe there is room for substantial growth even in the relatively mature steel production marketplace. We look forward to working with the management team to build this business.”

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed by the end of November 2005.

It is the third transaction announced by Platinum in less than a week, and the seventh in 2005. Previous announced transactions include:

-Oct. 21, 2005, Platinum Equity and RR Donelley & Sons Company (NYSE:RRD) announced an agreement for Platinum to acquire Peak Technologies, a systems integrator of automatic identification and data collection equipment and systems.

-On Oct. 17, 2005, Platinum Equity and Kuehne + Nagel International AG announced an agreement for Kuehne + Nagel to acquire Platinum portfolio company ACR Logistics, a leading contract logistics provider in Europe.

-On October 11, 2005, Platinum Equity announce it had completed the acquisition of the manufacturing and supply chain assets of LESCO Inc., a leading provider of products and supplies to the professional turf care industry

-On. Sept. 20, 2005, Platinum Equity announced it had completed the acquisition of USRobotics, a leading producer of networking communications solutions.

-On July 21, 2005, Platinum Equity announced it had completed the acquisition of American Racing Equipment, a manufacturer of high performance automotive wheels to aftermarket customers, from Noranda Aluminum, a unit of Falconbridge Ltd.

-In March 2005, Platinum Equity and Global Crossing announced an agreement for Platinum’s portfolio company Matrix Telecom to acquire Global Crossing’s small business group. That transaction is expected to close prior to the end of 2005.

About Platinum Equity

Platinum Equity ( is a global M&A&O® firm specialized in the merger, acquisition and operation of companies that provide services and solutions to customers in a broad range of business markets, including information technology, software, telecommunications, logistics, manufacturing, health care products and entertainment distribution. Since its founding in 1995 by entrepreneur Tom Gores, Platinum Equity has acquired more than 50 businesses and built a portfolio of operating companies that today has more than 40,000 employees, more than 600,000 customer sites and aggregate annual revenue of approximately $8 billion. In 2004, Platinum was named the 32nd largest private company in the United Stated by Forbes magazine.


Mark Barnhill

Platinum Equity

(310) 228-9514


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