RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- AMF Bowling Worldwide, Inc. ("AMF") announced today that it has reached an agreement with a majority of its secured first lien lenders and the landlord of a majority of its bowling centers to restructure through a first lien lender-led debt-for-equity conversion, subject to higher and better offers through a marketing process. AMF's restructuring will proceed on an expedited basis and will result in the elimination of a significant amount of its outstanding debt, providing AMF with the operational flexibility and resources to invest in improvements to its bowling centers and other growth initiatives.
Steve Satterwhite, AMF's Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, said, "With the support of our key financial stakeholders, we will recapitalize our balance sheet and reduce our burdensome debt load and related costs. 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."
To implement its pre-arranged restructuring, AMF and certain of its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division. AMF intends to file a plan of reorganization and related disclosure statement in the near term, as well as a motion seeking Court approval of marketing procedures to solicit higher and better offers as part of the plan. AMF anticipates completing the restructuring process and exiting Chapter 11 within approximately five months.
AMF intends to continue normal business operations during the restructuring, and its bowling centers are maintaining their normal schedules and welcoming customers. Leagues are continuing to bowl as scheduled, and center events and promotions are continuing as planned. AMF expects to continue honoring its customer and league programs and policies, including those pertaining to coupons, gift cards and refunds. It is anticipated that employees will be paid in the normal manner, and all health and other benefits will continue. AMF intends to make timely payment for goods and services received during the reorganization process in the normal course of business and in accordance with the terms of existing agreements.