New Company on Horizon: Bowlmor AMF

by Bob Johnson 0

AMF Bowling Worldwide Inc. and certain of its affiliates filed a new chapter 11 plan of reorganization and disclosure statement Saturday, sponsored by Strike Holdings LLC (known as Bowlmor) and certain of AMF’s second lien lenders, including Cerberus Series Four Holdings, LLC and Credit Suisse.

As first reported on, the plan provides that AMF will be reorganized and combined with Bowlmor to form a company that will be known as Bowlmor AMF, which would be the largest operator of bowling centers in the world with 7,500 employees, 276 bowling centers and combined annual revenues of approximately $450 million.

The plan provides that AMF’s second lien lenders will convert their debt into equity in Bowlmor AMF, so that Bowlmor AMF will be owned jointly by the financial institutions that hold AMF’s second lien debt and by equity holders in Bowlmor. Credit Suisse will provide a term loan facility in the principal amount of $230 million, and a revolving loan facility in the principal amount of $30 million.

The largest holders of AMF’s existing second lien debt have expressed their confidence in the new company by providing $50 million of backstop financing, which will be used to provide working capital for Bowlmor AMF and to pay cash distributions in varying amounts to AMF’s other creditors.

In addition to second lien lenders, the plan has the support of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors. AMF’s first lien lenders will receive payment in full, in cash, of principal, interest at the non-default rate, and their fees.

“The prospect of combining Bowlmor’s proven approach to operations and marketing with the AMF brand, its large number of locations and national market penetration represents an exciting opportunity for both companies,” said Bowlmor’s founder and CEO, Tom Shannon, who will serve as the chairman, CEO and president of the combined company. “The combination will not only result in a strong company, but also the best bowling experience possible. We are committed to making Bowlmor AMF a truly great company for the bowling public, our partners and our employees.”

Joining Shannon on Bowlmor AMF’s executive team will be Bowlmor President and Chief Financial Officer Brett Parker, who will become Vice Chairman, CFO and EVP of Bowlmor AMF. The new Bowlmor AMF will be jointly owned by AMF’s existing second lien lenders, who will hold 77.53%, and Shannon and Parker, who will collectively hold 22.47% of the new company.

Steve Satterwhite, AMF’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, said, “AMF’s operational and financial performance through our reorganization process has set the stage for a successful emergence from bankruptcy. It is thanks to the dedication and hard work of AMF’s employees and management team that we recently posted the best same store sales growth since 2007 and the highest profitability since 2009, achieving impressive results despite the challenges of the restructuring and economic conditions.”

The next step in this process is a hearing set for tomorrow, at which the Bankruptcy Court in Virginia overseeing AMF’s chapter 11 case will be asked to approve the disclosure statement so that the plan can be sent to AMF’s creditors for approval. Assuming that the Bankruptcy Court approves the disclosure statement, the plan will be sent out for a vote, and the Bankruptcy Court will schedule a hearing to confirm the plan.

Pending court approval, AMF could emerge from bankruptcy and combine with Bowlmor by the end of June.

More information about AMF's restructuring is available here ( Court filings and claims information are available here (

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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