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Fawcett rebuilding, buys

Fawcett Boat Supplies emerged from bankruptcy protection a little more than a year ago, and already the Annapolis, Md.-based company is looking for ways to grow its business.

“We’ve reorganized, and I think the brand is stronger,” Fawcett president Steve Ripley told Soundings Trade Only this morning. “We’re trying to make cautious steps to keep the brand moving forward.”

In late December, Fawcett purchased the assets of, an Internet-based marine supply company located in Eastport, Md.

“Our motivation was to give us a better, stronger e-commerce presence,” said Ripley. “We have a good brick-and-mortar business, and they have a very good Web presence. And there’s very little overlap in our customers.” is the third marine business recently added to the Fawcett portfolio. Last year, Fawcett began a cooperative agreement with Chesapeake Marine Fasteners, and when the owner of that company retired, the business was transferred to Fawcett.

Fawcett also became a dealer for Zodiac of North America last year.

To accommodate its expanded operations, Fawcett recently closed its 9,000-square-foot warehouse and moved into a new 10,000-square-foot facility with a warehouse, showroom and service area.

“It’s nicer frontage on a very busy road,” said Ripley. “It gives us the ability to showcase the Zodiac brand. We really want to grow our presence with the Zodiac line.”

Fawcett had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late 2007. The company had problems with capital after it purchased Oceana, an Annapolis-based marine wholesaler, Ripley explained.

Fawcett sold Oceana in 2007 and emerged from bankruptcy last September. Ripley said the company was recapitalized by Jammet Investment Associates and plans to pay back its creditors within three years.



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