Thursday, September 23, 1999

Isle water firm raises new
capital, hopes to avoid
Nasdaq delisting

Star-Bulletin staff


Hawaiian Natural Water Co. said today it has raised what it believes is enough new capital to avoid a threatened delisting from the Nasdaq SmallCap market. The company said it has a commitment for $850,000 from separate investors.

The Honolulu-based company announced in May that because of its losses, its net worth had fallen below the $2 million required for a Nasdaq listing.

Now it has received "a definite commitment" of $750,000 from private investors not previously connected with the company and another $100,000 from its founder and chief executive, Marcus Bender, the company said.

Together, they will buy 850,000 shares of common stock. The investors also have been granted options to purchase more shares in the future. Hawaiian Natural, which bottles and sells fresh water from deep under the Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island and also owns a separate fresh-water business in Kona, was founded in 1995 and went public in May 1997.

The company had losses of $2.6 million in 1997, $3.3 million in 1998 and $927,000 in the first half of this year. The company attributed most of the losses to marketing expenses as it developed its sales.

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