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AMF Bowling files for bankruptcy

Michael Schwartz November 13, 2012 3

AMF bowling logoMechanicsville-based AMF Bowling Worldwide, one of the world’s largest bowling alley operators, filed Tuesday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an attempt to restructure its “burdensome debt load.”

The company, headquartered in Hanover County, listed in its initial bankruptcy filing between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors. It listed assets of between $100 million and $500 million and debt of the same range.

The company said in a release Tuesday that it had reached a prearranged agreement with a majority of its secured first lien lenders and the landlord of a majority of its bowling centers to restructure its debt. The agreement calls for a restructuring through a “first lien lender-led debt-for-equity conversion.”

The company expects to exit Chapter 11 within five months and expects to see “the elimination of a significant amount of its outstanding debt.”

More than a dozen AMF subsidiaries were simultaneously put into Chapter 11 as part of the plan. Mechanicsville’s QubicaAMF, of which AMF owns 50 percent, is not included in the filing.

Steve Satterwhite, AMF’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, said in a prepared statement, “This is a necessary next step in our strategic plan to strengthen AMF financially and operationally for the future.”

“Over the past several years, amid adverse economic conditions that hit our core customer base hard, we continued to strengthen our operations, expand our league and open play offerings, and improve the customer experience. However, we must right-size our capital structure to gain the financial flexibility to improve our bowling centers and make other long-term investments that will help ensure AMF’s future profitability and success,” the statement said.

AMF said its business operations, including its bowling alleys, will maintain normal business operations during the Chapter 11 process.

The company will operate in the meantime with the help of $50 million in debtor-in-possession financing from some of its creditors.

AMF has hired the law firms Kirkland & Ellis and McGuireWoods to handle the bankruptcy filings.

Stay tuned to BizSense for more on the AMF bankruptcy.

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3 Comments »

  1. Mike Kane November 13, 2012 at 10:28 am - Reply

    I had spent considerable time as an industrial rep servicing this great Richmond area company. They always have the consumer as their focus in developing entertainment opportunities for a global audience. I hope that this procedure brings them back strong and healthy ready to rebound with the rest of the economy.

  2. Wayne Bolin November 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    On the first bankruptcy I lost over $8000. due to loss of warranties. Then I updated my AMF scoring and went through two years of hell before they sent a tech to fix it. I have struggled due to AMF and now I think they need to pay every penny they owe to every creditor.

  3. Jesse November 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    From the article I discern both AMF Bowling and QubicaAMF are based in Mechanicsville. Are both entities headquartered at the 8100 AMF Drive complex off of Pole Green Road?

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