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1519 Summit Avenue,  Richmond,  VA  23230-4511
Phone 804/254-2737   Fax 804/254-2955 


DATE:  February 15, 2002                                                               PAGE   1   OF    2                                                                                           
TO:       General Distribution                                                                                     
FR:       Wes Skaperdas                            
RE:       Released for Publication                                           

News Release

CONFAST, Inc. Acquired

Richmond, VA--  FastBird, Inc., a private Richmond, Virginia-based corporation, acquired the assets of Confast, Inc., of Springfield, Virginia, effective December 8th.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Confast manufactures structural steel construction-grade fastener brackets that are used for joining lumber and timbers, and in other heavy construction applications.  Confast developed the extensive line of connectors and brackets in the late 1970's.  The products are marketed nationwide through hardware stores, home improvement centers, lumberyards and building supply dealers.

The company, which will operate as Confast, Inc., has relocated to Phipps & Bird, Inc.’s Richmond production facility.  "Co-locating Confast with our other manufacturing operations provides a number of operational and production synergies,” explains Wes Skaperdas, president Phipps & Bird.  Skaperdas went on to note:  “It’s our first venture into the world of retail products:  Doing it with an established product line offsets some of the uncertainty we might otherwise experience.”

Phipps & Bird was founded in 1925 by Lloyd C. Bird (who later became a Virginia state senator) as a laboratory supply and chemical distributor.  The company became independently owned in 1999.  In 2000 it acquired Intelitool, a company that develops educational physiology software.