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U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Represents Prometheus Partners' Portfolio Company, AIR-serv Holding, LLC, in Sale to Wind Point Partners

MINNEAPOLIS, March 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, a leading growth company investment bank and merger and acquisition (M&A) advisory firm, served as exclusive financial advisor to AIR-serv Holding, LLC (AIR-serv), a portfolio company of Prometheus Partners' Fund, in its sale to Wind Point Partners, a private equity investment firm. The transaction closed on March 19, 2003.

Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Mendota Heights, Minn., AIR-serv is the leading manufacturer and route operator of coin-operated tire inflation and vehicle vacuum machines at convenience and retail gasoline store locations throughout the United States (U.S.) and the United Kingdom (UK).

"AIR-serv pioneered the air-vending market and now it owns and operates the largest air-vending route operations business in the world," said Robert D. Frost, vice president in U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray's Middle Market M&A Group. "The transaction will allow AIR-serv to continue to expand its air vending operations throughout the U.S. and UK."

"Over the past five years, AIR-serv's management team has successfully transformed AIR-serv from a manufacturing company to a route operations company with a large and stable recurring revenue stream," said Nicholas Peters, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Prometheus Partners. "We are extremely proud to have helped the management team build this company."

About Prometheus Partners:

Prometheus Partners is an Atlanta-based partnership established to manage investments made by its fund Windward IV, L.P. in smaller middle market companies. The firm focuses on management buyouts of recurring revenue service and distribution companies with valuations between $10 million and $50 million.

About Wind Point Partners:

Wind Point Partners, with offices in Chicago and Southfield, Mich., is a private equity firm that acquires middle market companies with revenues between $50 and $250 million and growth potential. Wind Point Partners manages over $1 billion in commitments and has invested in over 75 companies since its inception in 1983.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), 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 . Gotoanalysts.com, 800 Nicollet Mall, Suite 800, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402- 7020

Additional information is available upon request.

Nondeposit 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)

SOURCE U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

"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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