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U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Represents Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company's

Portfolio Company, Halcore Group, Inc., in Sale to TransOcean Capital, Inc.

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, a growth company investment bank, served as exclusive financial advisor to Halcore Group, Inc. (Halcore), the largest manufacturer of ambulances in North America, in its sale to TransOcean Capital, Inc., a Boston-based private equity firm.  Halcore has been a portfolio company of New York-based private equity firm Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company, Inc., since 1998.  The transaction closed on October 16, 2002.

Halcore, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, was formed in 1998 through the combination of Horton Emergency Vehicle Co., American Emergency Vehicles and Leader Industries, three uniquely positioned ambulance manufacturers each with a tradition of product excellence and superior customer service.  The combination of these three premiere brands in one entity, positions Halcore as the industry leader serving emergency medical services providers with the broadest product offering in the market.

Halcore is the clear leader in ambulance manufacturing, said Robert D. Frost, vice president in U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray's Middle Market Mergers & Acquisitions Group.  The transaction presents Halcore with additional opportunities to expand and grow its already existing strong business.

For TransOcean Capital it was an opportunity to invest in an outstanding organization and partner with a first-class management team, said Glenn Scolnik, President of Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company.  The company is extremely well-positioned to continue its strong growth.  We are very proud to have been able to help the management team build this company.

About Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company, Inc.:

Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company, Inc., a New York-based private investment firm, concentrates its investment efforts on small middle market manufacturing companies, both private and public, with low risk of technological obsolescence.  The firm focuses on management buyouts of companies that have revenues between $20 million and $100 million, are headquartered in the United States, and are established leaders in their respective niche markets.

About TransOcean Capital, Inc.:

TransOcean Capital, Inc., a Boston-based private investment firm, makes majority equity investments in U.S. based enterprises demonstrating sustainable cash flows and having valuations between $30 million and

$100 million.  TransOcean is financed by two innovative and well-capitalized Asian merchant banks.  TransOcean's sponsors have structured and financed numerous direct investments in the United States, Asia and Africa, across numerous asset classes, including private equity.  These institutions are, in turn, capitalized by some of the largest and most respected Asian commercial and merchant banks.

About U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray:

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) is 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 23 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. Securities products and services offered through U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Inc., member SIPC and NYSE, Inc., a subsidiary of U.S.Bancorp.  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.

Securities products and services are offered through U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc., member SIPC and NYSE, Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. (5/99-0679)

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SOURCE  U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

    -0-                             10/17/2002

/CONTACT:  Erin Freeman, Director of Public Relations, +1-415-277-1595, or Susan Beatty, Public Relations, +1-612-303-5680, both of U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray/

/Web site:  http://www.piperjaffray.com  /


CO:  U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray; Halcore Group, Inc.; TransOcean Capital,

Inc.; Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company, Inc.; U.S. Bancorp

ST:  Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio

-- MNTH018 --
2811 10/17/2002 12:23 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding U.S. Bancorp's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.

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