Imperial Sugar announced yesterday that James C. Kempner, President and CEO will retire as CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors effective October 23, 2001. Robert J. McLaughlin, Chairman of the Board of Imperial, will assume the additional duties of President and CEO.

Commenting on the management change, James Kempner said, “Last year I had informed the Board of Directors that it was my intent to retire when I reached 62 in July, 2001 and I subsequently indicated to the informal committee of bondholders during negotiations leading to the restructuring of Imperial that I would lead the Company through the restructuring process, but expected to retire following its completion.” Mr. Kempner continued, “Our industry appears to have turned the corner; Imperial’s competitive ability has been substantially enhanced by the successful completion of its restructuring; the Company has an experienced and capable management team in place which will now be augmented by Bob McLaughlin’s extensive experience in heading companies similar to Imperial. I leave a strong company in good hands.”

Mr. McLaughlin has fifteen years of experience performing as a CEO of major public Companies and several private companies. His background encompasses the management of profitable enterprises engaged in high growth markets to the turnaround of under-performing entities including three companies operating under the protection of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. He was also CEO from 1995 to 1996 of Spreckels Sugar Company, a multi factory California based beet sugar processor with $200 million in annual sales.

Mr. McLaughlin is the CEO of the Sutter Group, a management consulting firm based in Larkspur, CA. Mr. McLaughlin commented that he is excited about the opportunity to lead Imperial’s management team into the next phase in its historical development. “Jim Kempner has done a great job in leading this Company over the last eight years particularly through this last year as it entered and exited the Chapter 11 process. Imperial is ready for a new period of growth and success and I am proud to be associated with this effort.”

Imperial Sugar Company is the largest processor and marketer of refined sugar in the United States and a major distributor to the foodservice market. The Company markets its products nationally under the Imperial(TM), Dixie Crystals(TM), Spreckels(TM), Pioneer(TM), Holly(TM), Diamond Crystal(TM) and Wholesome Sweeteners(TM) brands. Additional information about Imperial Sugar may be found on its web site at

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