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SAN FRANCISCO -December 9, 2002 - U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray (Piper Jaffray) today announced the launch of a weekly industry newsletter entitled "Consumer M&A Weekly," which seeks to provide readers with both reporting and analysis of the previous week's merger and acquisition (M&A) activity within the consumer sector. The newsletter is authored by David M. Jacquin, head of the firm's consumer and technology & communications M&A groups based in San Francisco. Jacquin has more than 15 years of M&A advisory experience. Prior to joining the firm, Jacquin rebuilt and managed the West Coast technology M&A practice at Merrill Lynch. He also spent seven years running the consumer M&A practice at Montgomery Securities.
The Consumer M&A Weekly is made up of six sections: Selected Consumer M&A Transactions, M&A Spotlight Transactions, Recent High Yield Debt and Convertible Securities Issued by Consumer Companies, The Private Equity/LBO Sponsor Corner, Private Equity/LBO Analytics and Market Overview.
"We are excited to offer this new product focusing on the consumer M&A business," said Jacquin. "The newsletter will provide a breadth of information from recent transactions to analysis of the financial markets. We believe the "Consumer M&A Weekly" will offer the investment and financing community a timely and unique look into the consumer M&A market."
To subscribe to "Consumer M&A Weekly" go to www.gotoanalysts.com/consumerma.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, is a focused securities firm comprised of three divisions: Equity Capital Markets, Fixed Income Capital Markets and Private Advisory Services. The firm provides a full range of investment products and services to individuals, institutions and businesses. The firm has over 120 offices in 24 states across the country. The Equity Capital Markets Division focuses on the needs of growth companies in the health care, technology, financial institutions, consumer and communications growth sectors. The firm has a national reputation for its expertise in fundamental research and equity and debt financing. The Fixed Income Capital Markets business provides bond issuers, individual investors and institutional investors expertise in investment banking, underwriting, trading, sales and research. The firm offers innovative solutions in corporate and government debt financings with particular expertise in corporate, health care/hospitals, real estate, higher education and government debt. The Private Advisory Services division financial advisors provide guidance in retirement planning, education planning, estate planning and wealth accumulation. Investors select from a wide array of products, including fee-based products, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, insurance and trust services. U.S. Bancorp offers a comprehensive range of financial solutions through U.S. Bank, U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, U.S. Bancorp Investments and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. For more information on U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, visit www.piperjaffray.com. Non-deposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or other obligations of or guaranteed by U.S. Bank National Association or its affiliates, and involve investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.

This report should be read in conjunction with important disclosure information found at the following site: http://www.piperjaffray.com/disclosures.

© 2002 U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, 800 Nicollet Mall, Suite 800, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402-7020

Additional information is available upon request.