Aetrium Sets the Record Straight, Rejects Dissident Shareholders' Attempts to Seize Control

Aetrium Sets the Record Straight, Rejects Dissident Shareholders' Attempts to
Seize Control

ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aetrium Incorporated
(Nasdaq:ATRM) is today registering its growing concern over the continuing
distortions of a group of dissident shareholders headed by Jeffrey Eberwein in
its attempt to seize control of the company. The Eberwein group's campaign of
disinformation is shrouding its continuing public statements with confusion
and deception.

"The Eberwein group failed to gather enough shareholder participation to reach
quorum at our November 26 special shareholder meeting called on its demand,
even after it had seven weeks to solicit support," said Joseph Levesque,
president and CEO. "The fact is that after those seven weeks only 12% of
Aetrium's shareholders joined the Eberwein group in its bid to replace the
Aetrium Board. This is hardly the 'huge margin' the Eberwein group's headline
claimed in its November 26 press release, and in fact was well short of the
votes necessary for the Eberwein group to have prevailed even if a quorum had
been established.

"None of the members of the Eberwein group attended the November 26 meeting.
The group was represented at the meeting solely by its attorney, who asked for
more time to reach a quorum, asking to adjourn the meeting until December 10.
However, the attorney didn't ask for extended time until after the meeting had
already been concluded, and in any event had no authority to move for
adjournment because the group's proxy materials failed to meet the explicit
requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in order for the
group to ask for an adjournment. Thus, the Eberwein group did not have the
authority to ask for its requested adjournment even if its attorney had made
the request before the meeting had ended.

"The Eberwein group nevertheless continued after November 26 to solicit
shareholders to post votes in a one-sided campaign distorting the facts and
impugning the character of our Board. The special shareholder meeting having
concluded, we had no effective mechanism for countering the unfair and untrue
charges of the Eberwein group or enlisting the oversight of the SEC. In its
November 30 press release, the Eberwein group claimed we changed our quorum
requirement, which the Eberwein group said 'is especially troubling for
shareholder democracy,' and constituted 'outrageous actions by the Incumbent
Directors.' In its December 10 press release, the Eberwein group claimed our
insistence on our quorum requirement constituted 'gross violations of
shareholder rights recently committed by Aetrium's incumbent board members.'

"In fact, we have made no change to our quorum requirement. Further, in the
lawsuit brought by the Eberwein group to attempt to get through court action
what it could not get through shareholder action, the interpretation the
Eberwein group has urged for our quorum requirement was dismissed by the judge
out of hand as 'extremely strained and completely inconsistent with the clear
language of the bylaws.' The existing Aetrium Board is composed of disciplined
and experienced individuals of high ethics and moral standards who have
committed themselves to the success of Aetrium and the best interests of all
the shareholders and have been doing so for years for very little
compensation. Our Board's resistance to the Eberwein group's 'extremely
strained' and illogical demands can hardly be termed 'troubling,' let alone
'outrageous' or 'gross violations of shareholder rights.'

"In its December 10 press release, the Eberwein group claimed in its headline
'Dissidents Win Vote by Large Margin.' About 1.1 million additional votes were
posted between November 26 and December 10. Even after the Eberwein group's
vitriolic and inflammatory attacks on our Board, less than half of these
additional posted votes favored the Eberwein group, increasing to only 17% the
Aetrium shareholders joining the Eberwein group in its bid for control.
Excluding the Eberwein group, that's only 20% of our remaining shareholders
favoring the group's takeover. Most importantly, even if all votes posted
between November 26 and December 10 had been counted and a quorum had been
reached, the Eberwein group would have nevertheless failed on both its bylaw
amendment and director removal proposals.

"The Eberwein group declared in its headline on December 20 that the judge in
its lawsuit had ruled that our Board's bylaw amendment on adjournment violated
Minnesota law. The judge made no such ruling. The judge did conclude the group
was likely to succeed on the merits on its argument regarding our bylaw
amendment, but said that at the current early stage of the litigation, he
'remain[ed] convincible' that the bylaw amendment was properly adopted. We are
confident that the judge will rule in our favor when and if the issue is fully
aired. However, since the Eberwein group did not reserve for itself the right
to adjourn the November 26 meeting, the question is moot in any event.

"Nevertheless, on December 20 the Eberwein group, 10 days after having been
defeated by our shareholders in its takeover attempt even on its contrived
adjournment date, again demanded a special shareholder meeting to again
attempt a takeover, at the expense and dissipation of the company's scarce
capital and management resources, and only a few weeks ahead of our annual
meeting. A few days ago, the Eberwein group offered to settle this matter—if
we immediately turn over full control of Aetrium.This group has lost at the
polls and it has lost in court. The Eberwein group has demonstrated that it
has no experience in our industry, which continues to be in a perilous time,
and that the group has no plan for directing the company forward. As a result,
both of the two major shareholder advisory services recommended against voting
for the group's attempted takeover. Since the November 26 meeting, the
Eberwein group has further diminished itself through its campaign of
disinformation in its attempts to mislead our shareholders and mischaracterize
our Board members. Under these circumstances, our Board firmly believes that
we do not have discretion within our fiduciary duties to our shareholders and
the company to turn control of the company over to the Eberwein group.

"In an effort to resolve this situation, however, and to avoid the expense and
distraction of another proxy contest, we remain willing to invite members of
the Eberwein group to a minority position on our Board so that they can learn
about our industry and our company and be in a position to formulate and offer
proposals that may further enhance the value of our company and the interests
of our shareholders. This is the solution we have been offering to the
Eberwein group since it started this proxy campaign, as well as the solution
recommended by one of the proxy advisory services. I cannot think of a better
way for us to provide for a voice at the table for this dissident group under
these circumstances."

Aetrium, based in North St. Paul, Minnesota, is a leading supplier of
proprietary technologies and equipment that are used by the worldwide
semiconductor industry to test integrated circuits. The company's products
are used by customers to advance reliability, improve quality, increase
product yield or improve manufacturing processes. Aetrium's common stock is
publicly traded on the Nasdaq market under the symbol ATRM. More information
about Aetrium is available on the internet at www.Aetrium.com.

The Aetrium Incorporatedlogo is available at
http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6943

IMPORTANT INFORMATION/SOLICITATION PARTICIPANTS LEGEND

Aetrium Incorporated and its directors and executive officers may be deemed to
be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the shareholders of
Aetrium Incorporated in connection with any meeting of shareholders that may
be held.Information regarding the interests of these directors and executive
officers in connection with the matters to be voted on at any meeting that may
be held will be included in the proxy statement filed by Aetrium Incorporated
in connection with any such meeting.In addition, Aetrium Incorporated files
annual, quarterly and special reports, proxy and information statements, and
other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the
"SEC").These documents are available, and the proxy statement, when it is
filed, will be available free of charge at the SEC's web site at
www.sec.gov.SHAREHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT CAREFULLY
WHEN IT IS AVAILABLE BECAUSE IT WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

CONTACT: Paul Askegaard
         Aetrium Incorporated
         (651) 704-1812

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