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Norwest Equity Partners Exits Carson Industries Investment 

July 23, 2007-Leading Plastics Enclosures Products Company Acquired by CRH plc Division

MINNEAPOLIS—(BUSINESS WIRE Jul 23, 2007)—Norwest Equity Partners (“NEP”) and the management team of its portfolio company, Carson Industries LLC (“Carson” or the “Company”), today announced that they have completed the sale of Carson to Oldcastle Precast, Inc. (“Oldcastle”), a division of CRH plc (NYSE:CRH). Carson manufactures and markets grade level enclosures molded in plastics and polymer concrete. Oldcastle is the leading manufacturer of precast concrete for the environmental, transportation and building markets. The transaction closed on July 20, 2007.

Headquartered in Glendora, California, Carson offers a complete portfolio of grade-level enclosures that protect and secure municipal water, irrigation, telecommunications, electrical and other utility equipment and infrastructures. Since its inception in 1969, Carson has become the most recognized, premium brand in its markets based on a long history of high quality, well engineered products that are unmatched in terms of strength and durability. Erik Torgerson, a NEP partner and Carson board member, stated, “Under the leadership of Rich Gordinier and his management team, Carson is in a terrific position to continue its strong momentum and performance with Oldcastle. The team is deep and talented and has extensive experience in managing and growing businesses. Carson undoubtedly has the right infrastructure in place to support its future growth plans.”

Carson is expected to be a valuable addition to the Oldcastle family of companies because of its brand, product portfolio breadth, large and diverse customer base and geographic footprint. Carson diversifies itself by its unique range of manufacturing processes which enable Carson to produce its products from structural foam, injection and rotationally molded plastic, and polymer concrete. Products include a complete line of enclosures (vaults and boxes), cable troughs and ducts, equipment pads and accessories and other custom molded plastic products.

Carson serves more than 1,300 customers, serving hundred of thousands of end users located in various geographic regions and climates. The Company operates domestic plants located in La Verne and Colton, California; Napoleon, Ohio; and Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, as well as a European manufacturing facility in Ireland. Under NEP’s leadership since 2000, Carson has achieved significant revenue growth and increased market share within its highly fragmented industry. Carson has also expanded its geographic footprint and product offering through add-on acquisitions, including Turftek (acquired in 2000), a manufacturer of residential and light commercial outdoor drainage and water removal products and Mid-States Plastics (acquired in 2003), a manufacturer of water meter boxes.

Rich Gordinier, Carson President and CEO, stated:
“It is an exciting time for our company. We have a lot of momentum and excellent growth opportunities across a variety of end markets. Getting Carson to this point and partnering with NEP over the last seven years has been an invaluable experience. NEP offered tremendous resources to us, including the opportunity to work closely with NEP operating partner John Hale. The firm’s industry knowledge, experience and resources helped us realize our growth initiatives, complete our add-on acquisitions, and ultimately become the company we are today.”

Harris Williams & Co. and Latham & Watkins LLP represented the Sellers in this transaction. Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) provides middle market companies with the capital they need to reach their goals. The firm focuses on providing equity investments of $20-$80 million in growing and profitable companies through management buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth financings. NEP takes pride in its flexible investment charter, extensive resources, carefully tailored transactions and meaningful partnerships. Since its founding in 1961, NEP has earned a reputation as one of the premier private equity investment firms in the United States. NEP has in excess of $3 billion in capital under management and is currently investing NEP VIII, an $800 million fund. Visit for more information on our portfolio and investment team.

Norwest Equity Partners

Heather Goodwin, (612) 215-1676
Marketing Director
Fax: (612) 215-1601

© 2006 Oldcastle Precast, Inc.