Six Flags files for Chapter 11

Posted Saturday, June 13, 2009 6:17 PM | Contributed by stevesteve8383

Six Flags Inc., one of the largest regional amusement-park companies, filed for bankruptcy protection Saturday. The company, shouldering more than $2 billion in debt, had been negotiating with lenders, selling parks and laying off staff in a race to restructure outside of bankruptcy court. But it couldn't outrun the deteriorating economy and a looming $288 million payment due preferred shareholders this August, along with $31 million in unpaid dividends. Six Flags hopes to exit bankruptcy quickly through a prearranged reorganization plan. It struck a deal with senior secured lenders that would allow it to convert $1.8 billion in debt to equity.

Read more from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Saturday, June 13, 2009 6:56 PM

like we really didnt see this one coming...I am actually surprised to see it happen now as opposed to a long time ago, figured it was a long time coming.

now, is it blind hope or a fool's dream that maybe Dan Snyder will sell the Redskins too??? "crosses fingers" lol :)


still trying to think of a good signature...

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 7:32 PM

vacoasterfreak said:
like we really didnt see this one coming...

Apparently, the city of New Orleans didn't.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 8:02 PM

I don't recall the year that Jazzland became SFNO, but don't you think city planners should have taken a second look before inviting a company known for its poor financial habits to take management of the park? Besides that, what does New Orleans have to do with the fact that Six Flags is now bankrupt?


still trying to think of a good signature...

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 8:09 PM

Your talking to the city that sits on a coast and is below sea level. Common sense has never been its strong suit.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 8:31 PM

vacoasterfreak said:
Besides that, what does New Orleans have to do with the fact that Six Flags is now bankrupt?

The fact that just about 2 weeks ago, the city of New Orleans filed a lawsuit against Six Flags.


My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 9:24 PM

I see your point Chitown, but New Orleans gov't still had the right to sue for what they see as a breach of contract. But definitely bad timing...

and an even better point Touchdown lol...


still trying to think of a good signature...

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 9:51 PM

I don't know--if New Orleans wins their suit they become stockholders in SF. Whereas Synder et al cease to be.


This Isn't A Hospital--It's An Insane Asylum!

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 10:27 PM

I think the point with New Orleans is that Six Flags made them an offer a couple of years ago that they rejected. Then, a few weeks (months?) ago, New Orleans comes out and says they'd like to accept the original offer. Six Flags says that it can no longer afford it. If the city had looked ahead and saw were Six Flags was heading, they would have been fools to reject the original offer. Now they aren't going to get much at all.

Edit: Somehow missed the post ahead of mine. You're probably right, the city probably will wind up with stock, but given how much Six Flags owes, they'll probably only have a small pertentage of it. Still better than nothing I guess.

Last edited by Cedar Creek Mine Ride, Saturday, June 13, 2009 10:30 PM

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 11:17 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

But the company had a 24 percent drop in revenue over the same period, affected by lower attendance at its parks and less spending by customers.

So much for the 'staycation' - unless that means staying at home.


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Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:02 AM

The 24% revenue drop probably came from selling Six Flags Ohio and all the European parks... shoddy reporting. If they're trying to make a point then they should have talked about same-park attendance.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:34 AM

quailroberts said:
The 24% revenue drop probably came from selling Six Flags Ohio and all the European parks... shoddy reporting. If they're trying to make a point then they should have talked about same-park attendance.

Fair point, though the 24% relates only to this year's first quarter. Revenue actually ROSE in 2008. The culprits of the Q1 shortfall were the timing of Easter (which was in March in 2008 but fell to April in 2009) and the Mexican peso taking a hit. The real shame in the NYT story is that it throws this out as if it's relevant, when this is a highly seasonal business in which January, February, and March account for just 5% of the year's revenue.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:16 AM
Jeff's avatar

That is uncharacteristically shoddy reporting from the NYT.

I'm not sure why anyone is bringing in New Orleans to the discussion, but at best, they're entitled to the lease money, and there's not enough detail in this to know whether or not they intend to keep paying that money.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 2:54 AM

Captain Hawkeye said:
I don't know--if New Orleans wins their suit they become stockholders in SF. Whereas Synder et al cease to be.

Are you sure about that Cap'n? This is a pre-pack, so that usually means that Management stays on. Obviously the largest secured lender was behind(Supportive) this, and it should meet no real objections.

Therefore, as I see it, Snyder stays. Or were you referring to any ownership status he had (which I have to admit I don't remember)

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 2:58 AM

Jeff said:
That is uncharacteristically shoddy reporting from the NYT.

I'm not sure why anyone is bringing in New Orleans to the discussion, but at best, they're entitled to the lease money, and there's not enough detail in this to know whether or not they intend to keep paying that money.

While I'm not a big defender of the NYT, remember that this filing came on a Saturday morning, when the normal business writers are "off". Thus they more than likely took just the first paragraph from the filing summaries.

Also, the whole New Orleans thing (besides offering some snark here) was primarily about NO perhaps trying to get a settlement out of SF before the filing. Their counsel probably finally wised up to their position and thought it might yield something. I would have advised a client to do the same thing.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 3:11 AM

If you are talking print journalism...weekend staff generally rotates. The folks who write those kinds of articles or stories are the ones you will generally find doing just that. Not some horrible journalist trying to put two and two together...


Chase

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 8:04 AM

OK let me see if I understand

The old stockholders get nothing (it dropped to 10 cents anyway so it was not worth much)

The new stockholders will be the debt holders
who get there stock at a price already agreed on.
The debt holders can sell there stock right away and get their money or hold it and see if six flags with no debt stock goes up when economy/stock market recovers.

The only thing I do not like in this is the line on there website that new rides will still be added.
They should put in that the park will strive to not borrow to do this .Keeping themselves out of new debt would be the best thing business wise they could do.

I like new rides as much as anyone and I do not want the turnaround to go backwards but they need to not spend more than they bring in just like any of us would have to do.

Kevin38

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 8:09 AM

Gee, didn't most of us see this comming from about 10 miles away?


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 11:26 AM
Jeff's avatar

The only surprise I see is that it happened this early. I figured it would happen later in the summer, when they had stuff due, with the hopes that in the mean time they could get as many institutions as possible to fall in line and agree to an out-of-court settlement.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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