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March 27. 2013 8:56PM

Samson Manufacturing files for bankruptcy


U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte shoots a rifle while visiting the Samson Manufacturing facility in Keene last June. The company says it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because of a patent dispute. The firm said it is not in financial trouble; in fact, it's thriving. (UNION LEADER FILE)

KEENE - Gun accessories maker Samson Manufacturing Corp. says its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is designed to stave off a competitor and that the company is thriving.

Samson, which made the court filing on Monday, was threatened by a competitor that attempted to seize company property in the wake of a copyright dispute, Samson attorney Peter Tamposi said on Wednesday.

"They've been growing steadily, and they are very busy," Tamposi added. "One of their competitors got a judgment against them and were unwilling to negotiate."

Troy Industries Inc. of Massachusetts filed suit against Samson after both companies filed for a patent. Samson got there first and won in patent court.

However, Troy filed suit and won in a federal court in Boston.

After Samson moved operations to New Hampshire, the judgment was filed in Cheshire Court Superior Court last December in which a judge upheld the judgment for $933,000.

Not having the cash on hand, Samson requested to make payments over a period of time, but Troy filed a motion in Cheshire County Superior Court to seize the company's property.

"This is very much just a result of an overaggressive competitor," Tamposi said. "I don't expect any long term ramifications from the filing."

After the bankruptcy filing is complete, all of Samson's creditors will be paid, but Troy, Tamposi said.

"Since the filing, we've received overwhelming support from our creditors," Tamposi said.

According to the company website, "Samson's business remains strong and the company continues to grow. We do not anticipate any delay in filling orders or slowing down of our production lines. Our customers will continue to receive the responsiveness and quality they have come to expect from Samson Manufacturing. Please bear with us while we deliver a quick and well-deserved smackdown."

Samson manufactures firearm accessories for law enforcement, military and commercial customers. The company moved its operations and about 10 employees from Whately, Mass., to Keene last spring, bringing with it the promise of 25 new jobs. Tamposi said the company now employs 37 people.

Owners Scott and Cathy Samson have lived in Spofford for the past 12 years.

Samson works closely with gun manufacturers such as Sturm, Ruger & Co. in Newport and Sig Sauer in Exeter.

Last spring Cathy Samson said the Keene location meant a shorter commute for the couple. She also said New Hampshire offers greater business opportunities in terms of taxes. It is also a more gun-friendly state compared to Massachusetts, she said.

Samson was also looking to expand. The company left its 12,000-square-foot plant and moved into a 20,000-square-foot building on Forge Street last April.

mpierce@newstote.com



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