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D. E. Shaw Group’s Direct Capital Unit Provides Financing to Spencer Gifts Holdings, Inc. HOUSTON, TX, August 22, 2007— Laminar Direct Capital L.P. (“LDC”), the U.S. direct capital unit of the D. E. Shaw group, announced today that it has provided financing to Spencer Gifts Holdings, Inc. (“Spencer Gifts”). The financing is in the form of senior secured term notes and was made in connection with the recent acquisition of Spencer Gifts by an affiliate of ACON Investments, LLC. “We are delighted to complete this transaction after working with our colleagues at ACON for many months,” said Robert T. Ladd, president of LDC. “The D. E. Shaw group believes its ability to work flexibly and to commit capital to financial sponsors is one of the keys to our success in our direct capital business.” Spencer Gifts, founded in 1947, is one of the oldest national specialty retailers. The company is composed of two distinct store concepts: Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween. Spencer’s, a mall-based retailer offering room décor, apparel, accessories, and gag gifts, operates over 600 stores in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Spirit Halloween, the nation’s largest chain of Halloween-only stores, operates over 500 seasonal superstores and offers costumes, décor, makeup, accessories, and home entertaining products. About the D. E. Shaw Group The D. E. Shaw group is a global investment and technology development firm with more than 1,200 employees; approximately $35 billion in aggregate investment capital; and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Since its organization in 1988, the firm has earned an international reputation for financial innovation, technological leadership, and an extraordinarily distinguished staff. About ACON Investments, LLC ACON Investments, LLC (“ACON”) is a Washington, D.C.-based private equity investment firm that manages private equity funds and special purpose partnerships in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. Founded in 1996, ACON and its principals have managed over $1 billion of capital. ACON pursues a theme-based investment strategy by focusing on industries and businesses at key inflection points in their development and pursues these opportunities in close partnership with established management teams. ACON has offices in Washington, Los Angeles, and Madrid, Spain. About Spencer Gifts Spencer Gifts LLC is a lifestyle retail company that operates two unique, national brands—Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween—throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and online. Spencer’s (www.spencersonline.com) has been focused on delivering humor and enjoyment to people’s lives for over 60 years. Specializing in innovative, humorous, and unique merchandise, Spencer’s is the mall destination for entertainment, excitement, and irreverent fun for its core Generation Y guest. Spencer’s operates over 600 stores throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and online. Spirit Halloween (www.spirithalloween.com) is rapidly growing as the national destination for everything you can imagine for Halloween. Specializing in unique, entertaining, and exciting merchandise for Halloween enthusiasts, Spirit has been offering one-stop shopping for all your Halloween needs for over 20 years. Spirit Halloween operates over 500 locations in strip centers and malls across the United States and online. ### This press release is provided for the reader’s information only. The D. E. Shaw group does not endorse the information discussed and makes no representation as to its accuracy or adequacy. The reader should not rely on such information for any purpose. This press release does not constitute the provision of investment advice. In addition, it does not convey an offer of any type and is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities or other financial products. Please note the date set forth in the dateline of the press release, as the press release has not been updated for any information in it that might have changed. Accordingly, any beliefs and/or opinions provided in this press release constitute the understanding of the entity(ies) or individual(s) providing such beliefs and/or opinions as of the date of the press release and may not reflect the beliefs and/or opinions that such entity(ies) or individual(s) would provide today. In addition, no assurances can be made that any aims, assumptions, expectations, strategies, and/or goals described were or will be realized or that the activities or any performance described did or will continue at all or in the same manner as at the time of the press release. Broker-dealer activities of the D. E. Shaw group are conducted in the United States through D. E. Shaw Securities, L.L.C. or D. E. Shaw Valence, L.L.C., which are registered as broker-dealers with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and are members of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P.; D. E. Shaw & Co., L.L.C.; D. E. Shaw Investment Management, L.L.C.; and Laminar Direct Capital GP, Inc. are registered as investment advisers with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and conduct investment advisory activities.