Liberty Associates transfers interest in boatbuilder

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Liberty Associates ceased providing management services to American Marine Holdings, which builds the Fountain, Donzi and Pro-Line lines, and Liberty’s affiliate transferred its nominee ownership interest in American Marine to First Capital, a portfolio company of HIG Capital, the company announced.

“Liberty has enjoyed its part in steering the company through the very difficult times that the boat manufacturing industry has experienced recently and wishes FCC continued success with AMH in the future,” the company said in a statement.

No reason was given for the change, and company officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

After Fountain Powerboats filed for bankruptcy in 2009, Liberty Associates and Fountain filed a joint reorganization plan and Liberty acquired the company. Former owner and founder Reggie Fountain was originally kept on as CEO, but the two parted ways at the end of 2010.

Earlier this year, Reggie Fountain filed a lawsuit against his former company for money he says is due him, as well as trophies and pictures from his racing days. Court documents that Fountain filed contain allegations of improper business dealings by Liberty CEO Bill Gates, and Fountain Powerboats is asking the court to strike them from the record.

Fountain Powerboats filed counterclaims against Reggie Fountain, saying Fountain took company property, as well as trade secrets, when he left the company.

The legal battle is expected to continue into next year.

Boca Raton, Fla.-based First Capital provides working capital financing typically ranging from $3 million to $20 million, primarily to small- and middle-market entrepreneurs with annual sales ranging from $10 million to $100 million, according to its website. Credit facilities are in the form of asset-based loans or factoring arrangements.

First Capital is one of the largest independent asset-based working capital lenders in the United States, the company said.

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