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AMF Bowling declares bankruptcy

RICHMOND, Va. Bowling center operator AMF Bowling Worldwide says it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy so it can implement a pre-arranged restructuring agreement.

Virginia-based AMF announced the bankruptcy filing and the agreement Tuesday morning. The agreement is with a majority of the company's first lien lenders and the landlord of a majority of its bowling centers.

AMF says in a news release that it expects to complete the restructuring and leave Chapter 11 in about five months.

The company says the restructuring will eliminate a significant amount of outstanding debt.

"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," said AMF Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Steve Satterwhite in statement. "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."

Satterwhite says the company needs financial flexibility to improve its bowling centers and make other long-term investments.

Bowling centers will continue normal operations during the restructuring.

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