Llewellyn S. Smith, Chairman of E.D. Smith & Sons, Limited., a Canadian food company since 1882, announced a change in ownership for the organization. Imperial Capital Corporation of Toronto will become the new owner of the private company, with a commitment to building on E.D. Smith's past successes. The announcement was made at the company's semi- annual Town Hall meeting in Winona, Ontario.

"This is a win for everybody involved in E.D. Smith," said Mr. Smith. "In Imperial Capital, we have found a partner that is committed to a new era of growth for our company. That means employees will continue to produce the same quality products for which we have become famous, and on which our customers and suppliers have come to depend. This is a win for the community as our path for long-term growth and success begins right here in Winona."

Llewellyn Smith is the fourth generation of the Smith family to head the company and will continue as President and CEO after the sale is completed early next year. "The reality of today's marketplace is that we have to expand our base of operations in order to supply our present and future customers with the quality and selection they expect from E.D. Smith," he added. "Imperial Capital values our entire operation - from our multi-generational employees, to the leadership team we have built with our management, to the supportive community environment in which we operate. Together, we will build a stronger E.D. Smith."

"In 1882, my great grandfather, Ernest D'Israeli Smith had a vision - take the fruits of the soil and turn them into quality food products to meet the needs of consumers. Now, four generations later, we continue to fulfill his vision from our Canadian base to consumers around the world. Working with Imperial Capital will help ensure that we are able to continue that vision on an even grander scale."

"E.D. Smith is a great Canadian company," said Stephen Lister, Managing Partner of Imperial Capital. "We are excited to be working with Llewellyn Smith and the hundreds of skilled and dedicated people at E.D. Smith. We will assist them in getting to the next level - being a Canadian-based food company with a strong array of quality products and a broad North American customer base. The companies we have backed have quality products, experienced and committed employees sharing strong core values, and excellent growth prospects. E.D. Smith is such a company."

Imperial Capital has contributed to the successful growth of several companies, including Atlas Cold Storage (TSE: FZR.UN), formerly Associated Freezers, a leader in the public refrigerated warehousing industry. Atlas grew from 10 warehouses comprising 19.5 million cubic feet of warehouse space to become the 4th largest public refrigerated warehousing provider in North America and the largest in Canada, with 33 facilities encompassing over 122 million cubic feet of warehouse space.

Stantec (TSE: STN) is an international, diversified professional engineering consulting services firm. This Edmonton-based company has grown from 800 employees when Imperial Capital began working with them in 1993 to over 3000 employees today, having completed projects in over 80 countries.

About E.D. Smith & Sons, Limited

E.D. Smith is a true Canadian success story. With its head office in Winona, Ontario, it is one of the best-known names in the Canadian food industry. Founded in 1882, their uncompromising commitments to excellence in products, ranging from jams, pie fillings and fruit toppings, to syrups, ketchup and sauces, has contributed to its long-term success. Among its many honours, E. D. Smith has recently requalified as one of Canada's Top 50 Best Managed Private Companies by Arthur Andersen and CIBC and was also awarded the Distributor's Choice Supplier of the Year award by Associated Food Distributors, Canada's largest association of food service distributors. E.D. Smith Fruit Farms, Inc. operates an extensive pick-your-own fruit farm that attracts over 10,000 people each summer to pick strawberries and cherries. It will remain part of the Smith family business.

About Imperial Capital Corporation

Imperial Capital is an investment firm that partners with successful North American companies. The Canadian firm was established in 1989 by managing partners Jeffrey Rosenthal and Stephen Lister and applies a long-term horizon to its investments. After a careful and rigorous screening process, Imperial Capital invests in well-managed companies with successful track records and growth prospects. Imperial Capital then backs the existing management and employees to lead the company in its future growth.