Prime Time International Files for Chapter 11

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Prime Time International Files for Chapter 11


PHOENIX -- Prime Time International Co. and its related companies filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona on March 15.

The company, a leader in the machine-made cigar and energy shot markets, will continue to operate its core businesses in the ordinary course, "while taking steps to obtain alternative funding sources to emerge from Chapter 11 as a stronger and more competitive company."

Prime Time International will continue its operations with the cooperation of its bankers under Chapter 11 protection, which will enable it to continue to operate its businesses.

Due to its efforts to internally finance product diversification over the past several years, and an assessment dispute with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Prime Time's relationship with its bankers was complicated to a point where they refused to renew certain important loans, "despite the fact that Prime Time has never been late with any of its loan payments since its credit facility was established in 2005," the company stated.

As the result of these circumstances, Prime Time decided to seek court protection to ensure that there will be no interruption in either its product flow or overall supply chain relationships in order to continue to provide products to its customers.

Phoenix-based Prime Time has filed various motions with the court in support of its reorganization, including motions for continued approval of exiting customer programs, insurance, and continued payments of suppliers and employees in the ordinary course after the filing date. The company has paid its key suppliers current prior to the filing. Prime Time plans to continue with its planned trade shows, marketing, rebate programs and existing customer return policies.

On behalf of the company’s key executives, John T. Wertheim, chairman of the board and chief financial officer, reaffirmed Prime Time's intent to honor its customers’ dedication by continuing to supply and support quality tobacco and energy products. Wertheim added that he appreciates the company’s customers, suppliers and employees, all of whose continued support will be critical to the future of the business.

Additional information on the company and its products is available on Prime Time's website at