May 14, 2002

Blackstone Acquires Majority Interest in The Columbia House Company

Business Wire
(Copyright (c) 2002, Business Wire)

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 25, 2002--The Columbia House Company, the world's largest direct marketer of music, videos and DVD home entertainment products, closed the previously announced acquisition by Blackstone Capital Partners III LP, an affiliate of The Blackstone Group, the New York-based private investment bank, of a majority interest in the Company from AOL Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Music Group and Sony Corporation's Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Both Sony and Warner Music Group will retain minority interests in Columbia House and will remain important suppliers of music and video content to The Columbia House Company. Financing for the transaction, was arranged by UBS Warburg LLC and Banc of America Securities LLC. Blackstone was advised by UBS Warburg and Pathway Ventures.

About The Columbia House Company
The Columbia House Company is the world's largest direct marketer of music, videos and DVD home entertainment products. With more than 16 million offline and online club members in the United States, Canada and Mexico, the company provides direct-to-consumer marketing of more than 12,000 music titles and 7,000 video and DVD titles through its entertainment clubs. The company's Web site, is one of the premier e-commerce brands and consistently ranks among the Web's top 25 shopping destinations. Since its inception in 1955, The Columbia House Company has a proven record of excellence in database marketing, market segmentation, credit screening, and niche market merchandising.

About The Blackstone Group
The Blackstone Group, a private investment bank with offices in New York and London, was founded in 1985. The firm has raised a total of approximately $23 billion for alternative asset investing since its formation, $14 billion of which has been for private equity investing. The Blackstone Group's six core businesses are Mergers and Acquisitions Advisory, Restructuring and Reorganization Advisory, Private Equity Investing, Private Real Estate Investing, Private Mezzanine Investing, and Liquid Alternative Asset Management.

14:45 EDT JUNE 25, 2002
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