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4/3/2003

Hauser files for bankruptcy

Times-Call staff report

LONGMONT — Hauser Inc. filed petitions Tuesday for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Included in the filing are the company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Botanicals International Extracts Inc., Hauser Technical Services and ZetaPharm Inc.

Chapter 11 would allow the company to continue to operate while it develops a reorganization plan.

Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif. and Longmont, the maker of herbal extracts and nutritional supplements announced in February that it had failed to find a new line of credit that would have allowed it to pay off an outstanding loan from Wells Fargo Bank. At the time, it said the failure to find new credit would likely lead to the company filing for bankruptcy.

“We are encouraged by the progress we have made to substantially reduce costs. ... Ultimately, however, Hauser needs a greater equity base and access to permanent capital,” Kenneth Cleveland, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement. “We believe this bankruptcy filing will afford the company the time and process to arrange those elements for the benefit of all interested parties.”

In its most recent quarter, Hauser reported a net loss of $1.2 million, or 18 cents per share.

The company employs about 100 people in Longmont. Two local workers were laid off Wednesday, according to a company spokesperson.