Potential Fountain leader named by Oxford group

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Industry veteran Alton Herndon will lead FB Investments if it is successful in its efforts to acquire Fountain Powerboat Industries, The Oxford Investment Group announced.

"We are pleased to have Alton head our team to potentially oversee the expansion of Fountain operations in Washington, N.C., and build a more extensive luxury marine group platform, if we are able to acquire the company," Oxford chairman Selwyn Isakow said in a statement.

Herndon has more than 35 years of industry experience and was responsible for the building of thousands of boats and yachts ranging in size from 17 to 130 feet, according to a statement from Oxford.

Herndon was the president of Hatteras Yachts from 1985 through 1996. He was also the co-founder and managing partner of Southport Boatworks. Herndon has had varying roles in executive management positions with brands such as Palmer Johnson, Tiara Yachts, KCS International and the Tracker Marine Group.

"I am excited about implementing Oxford's organizational philosophy of emphasizing integrity and the pursuit of excellence in a collaborative, team-oriented environment," Herndon said in a statement. "Given the opportunity, we intend to implement an innovative manufacturing-distribution system emphasizing a pull- rather than push-marketing philosophy suitable for the current economic environment and the challenges of boat building in the 21st century."

Fountain is currently operating its business as debtor in possession in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. FB Investments holds the senior debt with a first lien security on substantially all assets of the company, and has filed a motion asking the bankruptcy court to terminate the exclusivity period within which only Fountain may file a plan of reorganization. If FB Investments' motion is granted, it would have the opportunity to propose a competing plan for the reorganization of Fountain.

Fountain filed its plan of reorganization with the court Nov. 20, in which it states its desire to reorganize with capital from Liberty Associates, which also recently became the majority shareholder of Donzi Marine and pro-Line Boats. If Fountain's plan is accepted by the court, the company's founder, Reggie Fountain, would stay on as president.

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