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Baird Capital Partners: Closes Acquisition Of The Hygenic Corp.
2/11/2004

For Immediate Release

For further information, contact:

Brian Anderson, Partner
Baird Capital Partners
(813) 273-8247
banderson@rwbaird.com

Angela Pittman, Public Relations Coordinator
Robert W. Baird & Co.
414.298.1902
apittman@rwbaird.com

BCP Majority Owner Of Leading Manufacturer, Marketer Of Healthcare And Fitness Products CHICAGO, February 11, 2004 - Baird Capital Partners (BCP), the U.S. private equity affiliate of Robert W. Baird & Co. (Baird), has completed the acquisition of The Hygenic Corporation (Hygenic). Hygenic is a leading manufacturer and marketer of branded and private label healthcare and fitness products, including those marketed under such brands as, Thera-Band®, Dyna-Band®, Aquafins(tm) and Parabath®. BCP was the lead equity investor and is the majority owner, while American Capital Strategies Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS) participated in the transaction by providing subordinated debt financing, as well as an equity investment. Hygenic senior management also made a significant equity investment with Antares Capital Corporation and Madison Capital Funding LLC completing the capital structure by providing senior debt financing and an equity co-investment.

Founded in 1925, Akron, OH-based Hygenic manufactures an extensive range of products via its broad manufacturing and distribution capabilities in Akron and Malaysia, which is supplemented by European distribution capabilities located in Germany. The Company's approximately 500 employees produce and distribute therapy and fitness products including, resistive exercise bands and tubing, exercise balls, exercise mats and aquatic products used for physical and occupational therapy, rehabilitation and athletic training. Hygenic also produces healthcare and specialty products such as disposable tourniquet straps, medical and laboratory tubing and dental dams for use in oral surgery and other endodontic procedures. For more information visit www.hygenic.com.

"Hygenic is a success story because of its innovative culture and its ability to deliver durable, high quality products for demanding applications while meeting exacting customer specifications," said Brian Anderson, a Partner at Baird Capital Partners. "With the capital resources in place for growth, we look forward to working with management to build upon the Company's past successes, leading market position and strong brand recognition. The significant growth opportunities within the healthcare markets in which the Company competes and the strong track record of the senior management team made for an ideal fit for Baird Capital Partners."

"We are excited to partner with Baird Capital Partners as we continue to build our business," said Stewart Lorenzen, CEO of Hygenic. "We see many opportunities, both in domestic and international markets, to continue to grow the Company and build on our core strengths. I am pleased to say we are poised to take the next steps in the evolution of our company."

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About Baird Global Private Equity
With more than 40 professionals in the United States and Europe, Baird's global private equity business has raised and managed $1 billion in capital. Baird Capital Partners (BCP) provides late-stage growth capital or change-of-control capital to U.S.-based, middle-market companies in the areas of Business Services, Industrial Products and Technology, Communications, Consumer and Life Sciences/Health Care. Baird Venture Partners (BVP) makes venture capital investments in early- to late-stage high-growth companies in three industry sectors: Business Services, Technology and Life Sciences/Health Care. Granville Baird Capital Partners (GBCP) is a long-established private equity manager targeting mid-market growth companies principally in the UK and Germany with a focus on the Business Services, Health Care, Industrial Products & Services, and Technology sectors. The group's investments are supported by Baird's full range of financial advice, operating expertise and industry research, providing a unique full-service approach to the entire private equity investment process. For more information, please visit Baird's Private Equity website at www.bairdprivateequity.com.

About Baird
Baird, established in 1919, is an international wealth management, investment banking, asset management and private equity firm with offices in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany. Baird's principal operating subsidiaries are Robert W. Baird & Co. in the United States and Robert W. Baird Group Ltd. in Europe.

Regularly recognized as a great place to work, in 2004 Robert W. Baird & Co. was included for the first time on FORTUNE magazine's annual list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." Robert W. Baird & Co. is a member of the New York Stock Exchange and other principal exchanges and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Robert W. Baird Ltd., a member of the London Stock Exchange, and Granville Baird Capital Partners Ltd. are authorized and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Services Authority. Baird is part of the Northwestern Mutual family of companies. For more information, please visit Baird's Web site at www.rwbaird.com.
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