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Future of Fleetwood’s North Carolina Plant Uncertain

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July 14, 2009 by   Leave a Comment

The jobs of about 70 people employed by Fleetwood Homes in Rocky Mount, N.C., hinge now on the answers to two questions, according to the Roanoke (Va.) Times.

First, will a buyer emerge for Fleetwood Homes, a subsidiary of bankrupt Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.? And if an acquisition of Fleetwood Homes proceeds and is approved by a bankruptcy judge, will the new owner continue to operate the Rocky Mount plant?

For now, there seems to be reason for optimism that Fleetwood Homes will be acquired. One potential buyer already has stepped forward. Arizona-based Cavco Industries, a leading producer of manufactured housing, and investment partner Third Avenue Trust Value Fund have made an offer on some of Fleetwood’s related assets.

“If, for some reason, a sale does not go through, Fleetwood would terminate the employees in Rocky Mount,” said Sydney Rosencranz, a spokeswoman for Fleetwood Enterprises.

That possibility led the company to comply with state regulations by filing a related termination notice last week, she said.

But Rosencranz said it is “more likely that a buyer will come in.”

Once that happens, the new owner will decide whether to continue to build manufactured homes in Rocky Mount, she said.

Scott Martin, Franklin County’s director of commerce and leisure services, said Monday (July 13) the county is cautiously optimistic that the Cavco purchase option, as reported to date, will provide “long-term viability” for the production facility and its employees.

On March 10, Fleetwood Enterprises filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the time, it listed assets of $558.3 million and liabilities of $518 million.

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