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Fountain files Chapter 11

North Carolina-based Fountain Powerboat Industries today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court documents, Fountain Powerboat Industries says it has $3 in assets, listed under personal property. It lists $1 each for Baja by Fountain, Fountain Dealers' Factory Superstore and Fountain Powerboats.

It's liabilities are listed as more than $19.6 million, which it owes to Regions Bank.

According to court documents, the company's Board of Directors authorized the Chapter 11 filing on July 21.

The company, in its filing, also is asking the court for permission to sell "substantially all" of its tangible and intangible assets, including the real estate and tooling in North Carolina, as well as brand names and unsold inventory for the Fountain and Baja brands. The sale of these assets could bring in $6 million to $8 million or more, Fountain said.

In June, Fountain reported it had retained investment banker Jacobs Capital to help the boatbuilder find a partner to provide additional capital to get through the economic downturn and finance future growth.

"The present market for boating is not immune to the same forces impacting the auto industry and the overall economy," said Reggie Fountain, chairman and CEO, in a statement at the time of the announcement. "From experience, we know the companies that come through this recession will be poised to capture even greater market share."

In February, Fountain started trading on Pink Sheets under the symbol FPWB, after being notified its stock would be suspended from trading on NYSE Alternext US, successor to the American Stock Exchange.

“In light of current economic conditions in general and, in particular, conditions within the marine industry, the company does not believe it can regain compliance with the Exchange’s continued listing standards in the near term,” Fountain stated at the time of the announcement.

In suspending Fountain, the Exchange noted that the company had “sustained losses that were so substantial in relation to its overall operations or its existing financial resources, or its financial condition had become so impaired” that it was questionable whether the company would be able to continue operations.

According to data on Pink Sheets, Fountain's 52-week high and low are $1.72 and 4 cents respectively.

See Tuesday's Trade Only Today e-newsletter for more on this story.

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