AMF Bowling Worldwide files for bankruptcy-court protection

    11/18/12

    Industry News

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    AMF Bowling Worldwide, the world's largest operator of bowling centers, filed for bankruptcy-court protection Tuesday after being squeezed by a cash crunch and a year-long failure to find a buyer for the business, as reported in Bowlers Journal International Cyber Report's Nov. 15 issue.

    This is the company's second attempt at a re-organizational bankruptcy, having last tried the strategy in 2001, which led to a sell-off of its overseas centers. It now operates 262 bowling centers in the U.S., of which nine can be categorized as modern "bowling lounges."

    The deal, which needs bankruptcy-court approval, calls for AMF to exit Chapter 11 under the ownership of its senior lenders, subject to rival bids at a court-overseen auction.

    AMF said it expects to emerge from bankruptcy protection within the next five months with a new plan that will "significantly" cut debt and strengthen its balance sheet. The company listed both assets and debt of $100 million to $500 million in Chapter 11 documents filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Va.

    "We will recapitalize our balance sheet and reduce our burdensome debt load and related costs," Steve Satterwhite, AMF's CFO and Chief Operating Officer, told the Wall Street Journal.

    Tuesday's bankruptcy filing came about a week after AMF defaulted on its debt obligations, according to Standard & Poor's.

    To ensure its uninterrupted operations while it restructures, AMF won court approval Tuesday to tap $35 million of a $50 million bankruptcy loan from some of its existing senior lenders, a group led by Credit Suisse.

    AMF's bowling center retail operation is a separate company that is not related to QubicaAMF. For more, click here.