Fountain Powerboats: Out Of Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy judge gave some good news to a Beaufort County boat company today.

The judge made his final decision on Fountain Powerboats in a case that has gone on for months.

Reggie Fountain tells WITN the judge affirmed Fountain's plan to reorganize and brought the company out of bankruptcy. Liberty Investments is now a partner in the company, but Fountain will remain as president and CEO.

Fountain said in 2006, the company had 400 or so employees, back when sales were $80 million. That number dropped to about 20 in late 2009 as the company struggled in the harsh economy. Fountain says because Liberty financed the company during the bankruptcy case, there are now 120 people back at work at Fountain. He says he hopes to bring more back.

Fountain said while the company is on firm financial footing, the economy is still tough. He'll know more about what the future holds after this month's Miami boat show, which he says is the biggest boat show in the world and often provides 20 to 25% of the company's sales.

Today's ruling "will keep us going for another 30 years," Fountain said. "God willing of course."

Liberty is now the majority owner of Fountain Powerboats, which has now transitioned from a public to private company.

Bill Gates, who represents Liberty, will be chairman.

Fountain tells WITN Liberty has bought the company's note from Oxford Investments, another company that was working to acquire Fountain and purchased the note from Regions Bank.

Fountain says he expects management to remain the same. He doesn't believe Liberty will allow him to spend quite as much on racing. He says the company previously spent up to $3 million a year on racing.

Fountain said the company has a solid product line with new products, and he feels positive about its future.

Previous Story, from October:

A bankruptcy judge has ruled in favor of Fountain Powerboats, and will allow the Beaufort County boat maker to reorganize.

After a day long hearing in Wilson, the judge will allow Reggie Fountain to remain as president and CEO of the company and permit it to reorganize with Liberty Associates.

On Monday, Oxford Investments purchased a $19 million Regions Bank note at auction for $6.75 million. The judge says Fountain must now make monthly payments of $29,375 to Oxford to pay off that note.

Stay with WITN News and for more on this developing story.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Bruce Location: Spring Grove Illinois on Oct 25, 2010 at 09:22 AM
    Rich Men work 7 days a week. Poor men do not work!!!
  • by layla Location: Bath on Feb 22, 2010 at 12:19 PM
    Mr Fountain, Thank you for keeping jobs in Eastern Nc despite the personal attacks you take. People in the know you are suviving in a very tough boat market...... God bless you and all Fountain workers
  • by Anonymous on Feb 21, 2010 at 03:32 AM
    Well if he only has 17 percent of the Company now obviously he doesn't have control anymore wouldn't you think? MY best guess is he is there more as a figure head for the company at this point
  • by US citizen for now Location: Washington on Feb 19, 2010 at 12:52 PM
    look anonymous, I'm not jealous of anything he's got. I would not want to be in his shoes no matter what. He is all about material possessions and money. I've seen what money does to people even in my family which is very wealthy. It turns them into rotten scoundrels which never can be satisfied. The love of money IS the Root of all evil. That is so true because that's why we're in the recession and our country is falling, spiraling out of control. I use to bring in $230,000 a year in my own business for five years straight. I learned quite a few things and I'm content with the great job I have now. But, some can handle money wisely and some can't. Reggie can't and has had issues for years because of greed & bad decisions. I've seen these types and want nothing to do with them. They're plastic fake backstabbers who use the honest hard working folks. I do hope workers there at Fountain PB have prosperous years ahead. They deserve more than they're getting.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 19, 2010 at 03:34 AM
    OH another jealous person has weighed in I see
  • by US citizen for now Location: Washington on Feb 17, 2010 at 06:11 PM
    If Reggie would return the millions of dollars he took from the business and sell the extravagant kings palace he recently built on the pamlico river along with the boats, Fountain Powerboats could have prosperous years ahead despite of the economy. God willing of course
  • by joe Location: up north in jersey on Feb 8, 2010 at 11:33 AM
    Nice job Reggie You have again come through with jobs for the washington area
  • by Steve Location: Ayden on Feb 5, 2010 at 09:52 PM
    Lets see all you dems. Obama has made daily attacks on the wealthy in this country. He has made sure that you are jealous of anyone who has been a success and made some money. So because of your misguided hatred of this and other people who have been successful, YOU....THE MIDDLE CLASS WORKER....NO LONGER WILL GET HIRED. Nobody has ever been hired by a poor man!!! Maybe your jealousy and hatred of the people who have become wealthy in this country can keep you warm as you walk to pick up your food stamps.
  • by who cares Location: washington on Feb 5, 2010 at 07:29 PM
    to anonymous 11:05. watch the scuppers on your boat. there have been a bunch of the 31's sink because of them.
  • by ~ALPHA female~ Location: O84P on Feb 5, 2010 at 06:50 PM
    Congratulations Fountain Power Boats!!!!!

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