Investment Bank Formed to Serve Food, Nutrition and Agriculture Companies

Washington, DC, February 3, 2003 - John Melville and Linda Jessee are pleased to announce the formation of Argonaut Capital Advisors, LLC. Argonaut has been created to provide knowledgeable, highly focused merger and acquisition and other investment banking services to food, nutrition and agriculture companies. Within its industry focus, the company will serve small to mid-sized clients and also foreign companies interested in completing transactions in the USA.

Mr. Melville and Ms. Jessee bring over 40 years of merger and acquisition and corporate finance experience to Argonaut. Mr. Melville was a senior executive within the food and beverage industry for over 10 years, has significant operational experience within food and value-added agricultural companies and has completed numerous acquisitions and divestitures of private food, flavoring and ingredient companies. As managing director in charge of corporate finance at HypoVereinsbank in New York, Ms. Jessee focused primarily on advising foreign companies on acquisitions and divestitures within North America and has worked on numerous food-related transactions.

“John’s specific experience within our target areas combined with my 20 years of M&A transaction experience allows us to offer a unique blend of deal, industry and operational experience to our clients” said Ms. Jessee. “In addition, because we have both spent most of our careers working with European, Canadian and Japanese companies, we are able to offer perspectives and access that broadens the reach and leverage of our North American clients.”

Backgrounds of the Principals:
John Melville - As EVP of the private, European owned holding company John I. Haas, Inc. and through numerous Board memberships in the US and abroad, Mr. Melville was actively involved in the development of a variety of food, ingredient, flavoring and agricultural companies. He was also President of Haas Hop Products which developed, produced and globally marketed naturally-derived chemical compounds for use in brewing, flavoring and microbiological applications. Formerly he was a senior financial executive of a Fortune 300 natural resources company in New York City.

Linda Jessee - Ms. Jessee has worked in international investment banking for over 20 years, 12 of which was spent as Managing Director in charge of Corporate Finance at HVB Capital Markets, the North American investment banking subsidiary of Germany’s HypoVereinsbank. There she was active in a wide range of industries including food and beverage, paper and packaging, building materials, steel, and office supplies. In addition to her broad industrial knowledge, Ms. Jessee also has particular expertise in cross-border transactions involving European and Japanese companies.

For more information, call Mr. Melville at 202-237-0337 or Ms. Jessee at 212-316-3374.

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