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American Capital Invests $21 Million in Berry-Hill Galleries
Winslow Homer (1836-1910), Young Woman, 1880, watercolor, gouache and pencil on paper, 9 1/2 x 13 3/4 inches. Part of the collection of Berry-Hill Galleries Inc.

BETHESDA, MD.- American Capital Strategies Ltd. announced today it is providing $21 million in debtor-in-possession financing to Berry-Hill Galleries Inc., a leading New York-based fine arts gallery specializing in eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century American paintings. Berry-Hill is currently operating under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. American Capital's loan is secured by Berry-Hill's prime Manhattan real estate and its substantial art inventory.

“We are very pleased to enable this fine family business to refinance its pre-petition secured debt and to provide breathing room for the debtor and its creditors to formulate a plan of reorganization," said American Capital Managing Director Gordon O'Brien. "This transaction demonstrates the ability of our Special Situations Group to evaluate challenged businesses across a wide range of industries and to respond swiftly with flexible capital."

American Capital has invested approximately $4.7 billion in the last twelve months, $3 billion year to date and $549 million quarter to date. These amounts do not include American Capital's unfunded equity commitment and debt funded to its portfolio company European Capital. Established in the first quarter of 2005, American Capital's Special Situations Group has a total portfolio value of $164 million in five companies. It represents 2% of American Capital's total assets as of June 30, 2006. For more information about American Capital's portfolio, go to

"Berry-Hill operates a highly regarded gallery with a prime location in the heart of New York City's Upper East Side museum and gallery district. Over four generations, the Hill family has established a deep knowledge of fine art, an impressive art portfolio and strong relationships throughout the art world," said American Capital Principal Myung Yi. "As a result of these factors, we were able to get comfortable with an atypical asset base in order to provide the debtor with a superior solution under a tight timeframe."

Berry-Hill has been based in Manhattan since the 1930s and has acquired an outstanding reputation for its expertise in Early American paintings. Its collection includes works by Winslow Homer, Frederic Church, John Singer Sargent and Jackson Pollock. In addition, the gallery deals in contemporary American art and modern European paintings, as well as Old Masters. Customers also regularly turn to Berry-Hill for consignment and participation art sales.

"After carefully considering all of our alternatives, we determined American Capital to be our ideal partner," said Berry-Hill Galleries co-owner James Berry Hill. "During my family's most challenging period in our long- standing business, American Capital quickly produced an attractive proposal, skillfully navigated the bankruptcy process and provided a timely solution."

"Now that we have received our debtor-in-possession financing and paid off our pre-petition secured lender, we will immediately turn our full attention to working with unsecured creditors to draft a mutually-acceptable plan of reorganization," said Berry-Hill Galleries co-owner Frederick D. Hill. "We expect that having a patient and resourceful financial partner like American Capital will significantly enhance the long-term value of our family's business."

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