Six Flags Inc has begun proceedings under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, saying it needs to reorganise and shed $1.8 billion (€1.3bn) of debt.
In 2008 the group hosted 25 million visitors and posted record revenues, but its debt load is unsustainable. The bankruptcy filing came after earlier plan to negotiate an out-of-court deal with creditors failed.
The plan would result in a deleveraging of the company’s balance sheet by approximately $1.8 billion, as well as the elimination of more than $300 million in mandatory redeemable preferred stock obligations.
“The current management team inherited a $2.4 billion debt load that cannot be sustained, particularly in these challenging financial markets,” notes Six Flags president and CEO, Mark Shapiro (pictured). “No one should be confused about what a bankruptcy process means for Six Flags. Following a three-year turnaround of our system-wide park operation, this action to clean up the balance sheet paves the way for a full revival of the company. We will emerge from this process stronger and more competitive than ever.”
Shapiro has stressed that, “We are fully committed to ensuring that the experience of our guests this summer is totally unaffected by this restructuring process. I remain thankful for the steadfast support of our employees and other stakeholders throughout this entire process. More than ever, consumers are gravitating toward experiences they know and trust. Six Flags has been a favourite family destination for almost a half century.”
The Six Flags CEO has also gone on record stating that its expansion plans in Dubai and Qatar remain unaffected.