AMF Bowling files for bankruptcy

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AMF Bowling Worldwide Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, blaming the weak economy.

The Mechanicsville-based firm filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, saying it plans to reorganize and exit Chapter 11 within five months.

“With the support of our key financial stakeholders, we will recapitalize our balance sheet and reduce our burdensome debt load and related costs,” Steve Satterwhite, AMF’s CFO and COO said in a statement. “This is a necessary next step in our strategic plan to strengthen AMF financially and operationally for the future.”

AMF reached an agreement with its largest lenders and the landlord of most of its bowling centers to reorganize and restructure its debt.

The company has secured $50 million in financing to continue operating while in bankruptcy.

AMF is the country’s largest bowling center operator, with 270 sites in the U.S. and Mexico.

This marks the second time in the past 12 years that AMF has filed for bankruptcy. AMF filed for bankruptcy in 2001 and emerged the next year.

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