Prodigal Son Returning to Carver Corp.?

Distressed Carver Corporation announced August 31 that founder Bob Carver has signed a letter of intent to return as chairman and CEO of the company he founded 20 years ago. The letter also spells out conditions for a possible merger of Carver and Sunfire Corporation as early as 18 months from now. Sunfire, manufacturer of the highly regarded Sunfire power amplifiers, is Bob Carver's privately held company.

Carver Corp. has been ailing for a long time. On January 8 of this year, three of its directors resigned after the company received notice that it would be delisted effective March 27 from the NASDAQ for failing to maintain a stock bid price of at least $1/share.

On May 5, Carver announced that it had received temporary operating capital of $375,000 in exchange for 3 million shares of restricted common stock ($0.125/share) from bailout specialist Renwick Special Situations Fund, L.P. At that time, the company also announced that it was moving into direct sales and began soliciting business on the Internet. The move reportedly improved the company's precarious position.

Bob Carver says that his "personal focus will remain with Sunfire," but that he will install "a talented and experienced team to run Carver Corporation." One change he plans to make is to return Carver Corp. to the "independent dealer distribution philosophy." The letter of intent is not a binding agreement. Many details must be attended to before a final contract is signed.

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