One Bidder At Fountain Powerboats Bankruptcy Auction

There was only one bidder at a bankruptcy auction held at Fountain Powerboats in Beaufort County Monday morning.

That's according to Irving Smith, Fountain Powerboats chief financial officer.

Smith said Oxford Investments was the only bidder and had been approved for a credit bid.

We're told the auction was for all of Fountain's assets, not pieces of them.

The bankruptcy auction started at 10 a.m. at the plant's facility in Washington.

The auction is not finalized until it is approved by a bankruptcy judge.

Another hearing is set for Friday.

Fountain Powerboats is working to appeal the purchase of the Regions Bank note by Oxford Investments.

Fountain continues to try to change its Chapter 11 so it can keep its assets and reorganize.

The auction and the appeal are expected to be part of Friday's hearing.

Fountain had tried to delay Monday's auction, but the delay was not approved by the bankruptcy court.

A schedule posted by the United States Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of North Carolina shows the October 9th hearing as beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Wilson with Judge Randy Doub presiding.

That schedule lists several scheduled matters before the court for Fountain Powerboat Industries Inc.

They include: a motion to sell free and clear of liens; a motion for authority to use cash collateral; a motion to obtain post petition financing; and a motion to appoint Chapter 11 trustee.

Last week, it was reported that Liberty Investments was interested in Fountain. Liberty acquired a majority of shares in Donzi and Pro-line boat companies in the past year. There is no word if Liberty is still working to secure a Fountain deal.

Another powerboat company, Hustler, was interested in Fountain, but the New York company pulled back in light of maneuvers by Oxford Investments, such as the reported purchase of the Regions Bank note.

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Monday's auctioning off of Fountain Powerboats may not take place as scheduled.

The company is now asking that the auction be delayed and instead the company be reorganized.

A hearing has been set for 9:00 a.m. in Wilson to postpone the scheduled auction that is set for 10:00 a.m. in Chocowinity.

This summer the troubled boat maker filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. There have been several potential buyers for Fountain, but so far there's been no announcement of a possible sale.

Owner Reggie Fountain told WITN News that they are asking the bankruptcy court to change the process and allow the company to be reorganized, instead of being auctioned off. He says a reorganization would be more fair to both the creditors and the employees in the area.

Fountain says it is unlikely that the auction will take place Monday, even if the judge says to proceed with it because everyone involved will be at that Wilson hearing.

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