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Six Flags Corporate Discussion Thread


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Well they bought KI. And im just saying they have like all the major parks in the Ohio Valley Region. If they took KK i wouldnt mind, maybe we would get a new coaster or something.

 

Let's think about this one...Geauga Lake was Cedar Point's closest competition. SFKK is Kings Island's closest competition.

 

So if Cedar Fair was to buy SFKK...

 

Isn't there some contract on SFKK with the Kentucky State Fair that someone has to operate the park as the fairgrounds or something?

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But here's the thing -- I think most people are looking at this like Circuit City or the auto industry, and it isn't like them in either way.

 

Circuit City had a huge debt load and tons of stores that were not making much (if any) money. Their stores were worth more closed and liquidated then they were open, so that is exactly what happened -- the Circuit City stores closed and were liquidated.

 

 

Another big problem Circuit City had was when some years back the chain fired a large number of employees who were experienced with the things they sold in favor of "cheaper" employees who really didn't know the merchandise they sold. Like what happened to to my brother last year at Circuit City. He was looking for a Direct TV system and asked the employee on duty advice only to get "..well all TV's are Direct TV..you can place it DIRECT of anything you want". The employee was NOT joking.

He really had not a clue as to what Direct TV really was. He ended up going to Best Buy instead.

 

Anyway there were many many people who never did forgive Circuit City for pulling a stunt like that.

 

Some of you may remember Montgomery Ward. Same thing here too. Many employees who knew their stuff were fired while those who know nothing kept their jobs...then the chain filed bankruptcy and well one just can't expect a chain to be a success if the employee behind the register says "...we don't sell bed spreads" when right behind them is..well bed spreads.

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  • 2 weeks later...

^ Excellent post, however it is not entirely the retail chain's fault- the consumer wants cheaper merchandise and is not willing to pay the price usually for good service, so the stores who do attempt to provide excellent service and pay their employees a decent wage are unable to compete in the marketplace, cuts must be made to stay profitable.

 

Case in point, traditional department stores (such as Sears or JCPenney) who still do cling to traditional customer service and flood the floor with salespeople have been suffering greatly the past decade or so as consumers head to discount stores, they are unable to compete due to the high overhead involved, whereas Walmart runs with the bare minimum of employees and therefore can charge alot less.

 

Consumers drive the market.

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^And as tntornadox best sums up, Walmart can have an unqualified person to sell you that $2,000 computer for 8 bucks an hour rather than, say 15 like Best Buy would. Walmarts ability to achieve the same result with limited input makes it difficult for Best Buy to keep the trained or knowledgable staff and sustain its standards. The same could be said in SF's case when it comes to the quality of guest service that has been delivered within the past decade (for the benefit of doubt of the new management, I'll identify this decade from 1995 to 2005) The park was content with providing bare minimums. Was the guest service at Six Flags horrible during this period? Not entirely, but bad enough that it left an image on parkgoers minds that have yet to be relinquished. However, Six Flags has not enjoyed the same benefits as say, Walmart despite similar input practices.

Now that the chain is doing noticibly better (I wouldn't say it's a full 180 yet) it's still stuck with a decade of subpar service and quality standards from that "decade" still fresh on everyones minds. Because Six Flags is still in a state of recovery from this decade, it is hard to get it to the level of quality that will not only make the name a success, but dominate in it's market (which I know it has the potential to do, but potential is different from actualizing). It's going to be hard for Six Flags to move forward right now, because working with the limited resources they have can only do so much. It's almost as if they're going to have to get better, and more efficient, and more friendlier, and all around become a better value, without having the means to do it.

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I remember the first time I've been to SFGAdv. We were looking for an employee that could direct us to ride X (Not the 4D coater in MM). They were like "Uh, that ride isn't here." In fact, ride X WAS there, but we just couldn't find it. On the other hand, at Hershey, the employees seem to know the place like it's their house.

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  • 4 months later...

Here's a link to the latest earning news regarding Six Flags: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/six-flags-announces-third-quarter,1024829.shtml.

 

Not surprisingly, revenues in the third quarter have decreased from the same quarter last year--by 7 percent--due to declining attendance, reduced spending per guest, and other factors.

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Although the Company benefitted from increased single-day ticket and season pass attendance, this was more than offset by a decline in group sales, reflecting cutbacks in outings by companies, schools and other organizations, and reduced complimentary and free promotional tickets.

 

So the "Staycation" theory was sort of true for Six Flags, but sort of not as well.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's a new article that is quite an interesting read. Could another company end up owning Six Flags?

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-200 ... 04400.html

 

Six Flags Inc.'s (SIXFQ) Chapter 11 case has erupted into a duel between two groups of bondholders vying for control of the amusement park operation as it moves to leave bankruptcy protection.

 

In a release Sunday, senior bondholders owed some $500 million said they had presented Six Flags' board with signed commitments for $420 million in new capital. Combined with debt financing, that's enough to pay off rival bondholders and take over the company, said the group, which is led by Stark Investments. The Stark-led bondholders made their move as Six Flags is poised to exit bankruptcy protection largely the property of bondholders led by Avenue Capital Group of New York.

 

Six Flags attorney Paul Harner said Sunday the company had "no comment at the moment" on the restructuring proposal from the Stark-led bondholders. He is with Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker.

 

This marks the fourth time in less than six months that a group of Six Flags' creditors maneuvered to take charge of the theme-park

operator.

 

When it filed for Chapter 11 protection in June, Six Flags was aligned with banks led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) behind a Chapter 11 scenario that would have made the company largely the property of the bank group.

 

That touched off a fight with bondholders who would have gotten only a fraction of the revamped Six Flags under the bank-backed exit plan. Additionally, preferred shareholder Resilient Capital Management floated a restructuring proposal that would have left the debt load in place, but chopped interest rates. Resilient's plan wasn't popular with lenders.

 

Bondholders led by Avenue eventually wooed the company to support a new Chapter 11 plan, one that will put the theme-park company into their hands. Avenue and others involved in raising $450 million to finance Six Flags' bankruptcy-protection exit will get the largest share of the reorganized company under the Chapter 11 plan that has the company's favor now.

 

The latest restructuring idea comes from a group of bondholders led by Stark, of Milwaukee. The Stark-led bondholders say they can raise the money to pay off the Avenue bondholders, appease the banks, and set themselves up to own Six Flags.

 

The Stark group also includes CQS Directional Opportunities Master Fund of the Cayman Islands, and Tricadia Capital Management and 1798 Global Partners, both of New York, court documents say.

 

Six Flags is due in court Friday for a preliminary hearing on the Chapter 11 exit plan it agreed to with the Avenue-led bondholder contingent. The hearing is supposed to set the stage for creditor voting and confirmation, which would allow the company to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

 

A spokesman for Avenue couldn't be reached Sunday for comment on the rival proposal. The Stark proposal could upset Avenue's hopes of a clear path to the exit from Chapter 11 for Six Flags, a company that saw its fortunes suffer as consumers cut back entertainment spending.

 

The Stark bondholders are in a class of creditors owed $870 million. Under the original bank-backed Chapter 11 plan, they were offered only 1% of the company. They don't fare much better under the Avenue Capital-backed Chapter 11 plan, the Stark bondholders say. Avenue's restructuring would leave them with only about 5% of the reorganized company.

 

The Stark-led group is promising payment in full or reinstated loans for the banks, while it's offering the Avenue group of bondholders cash. That leaves all the equity in Six Flags for the Stark-led bondholders, under their proposal, including 81% that would be acquired by bondholders that have committed to raise $420 million in exit financing.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0712801420091207

 

* Judge: Six Flags makes 'good faith' progress on reorg

 

* Six Flags can solicit votes for Avenue Capital-led plan

 

* Bonds due in February fall 1 cent to 21 cents-TR data (Adds bond activity, background, byline)

 

NEW YORK, Dec 7 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge said on Monday Six Flags Inc (SIXFQ.OB) can keep its exclusive right to file its bankruptcy reorganization plan, overruling objections from a group of noteholders that sought to offer their own plan.

 

The ruling allows the world's largest regional theme park operator to begin soliciting votes from creditors on a reorganization plan, crafted by a group of lenders headed by hedge fund Avenue Capital.

 

Six Flags' exclusive period for filing a plan was extended until Dec. 10 and it now has from that date to Feb. 8, 2010 to solicit acceptances for the plan.

 

A group of lenders known as the SFI noteholders, led by Stark Investments, had opposed the plan, saying it undervalued the company. But Judge Christopher Sontchi, of the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware, said Six Flags and the Avenue-led group had made "good faith" progress on their restructuring plan.

 

"The debtors would be prejudiced by the expense, confusion and possible delay in getting the confirmation if the SFI plan is allowed to go forward," Sontchi said.

 

Shortly after his ruling, Six Flags' 8.875 percent bonds due in February 2010 fell by around 1 cent to 21 cents on the dollar, according to Thomson Reuters data.

 

BATTLE IN BANKRUPTCY COURT

 

New York-based Six Flags filed for Chapter 11 in June with a $2.4 billion debt load amassed as it bought parks and built rides. In June, Chief Executive Mark Shapiro told Reuters that he hoped the company would exit bankruptcy in six months.

 

Six Flags' initial plan gave the majority of the company's shares to its bank lenders, which sparked an immediate uproar from other creditors.

 

Avenue offered a new plan, which Six Flags backed in early November. Avenue's plan provides so-called SFO noteholders owed $420 million with 7 percent of the company.

 

The Stark group, whose notes are worth $870 million, opposed the Avenue plan, which gave them 4.8 pct of the company.

 

Sontchi said in his ruling Monday he understood the Stark group's claims that they had been left out of the running to propose a plan, but said possible delays would hamper Six Flags' progress in wrenching itself from bankruptcy.

 

"Chapter 11 cases don't get better with age," Sontchi said.

 

"Ultimately, the debtor cut a deal with the SFO noteholders and wants to go forward," Sontchi said. "That's significant progress and indicates good faith."

 

But Sontchi said the Stark group could stage a comeback if the debtor's plan fails to be confirmed.

 

"If the debtor goes to confirmation and fails ... the court might grant termination of exclusivity to get a second bite at the apple," Sontchi said.

 

The case is in re: Premier International Holdings Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 09-12019. (Editing by Matthew Lewis and Steve Orlofsky)

 

Management at Six Flags' corporate office seems to have earned a sigh of (temporary) relief as they've at least been assured their own rights to reorganize in the way they choose. It seems the note holders didn't win out after all.

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http://www.blooloop.com/PressReleases/Theme-Parks-Judge-approves-Six-Flags-exit-plan/1924

 

Six Flags, the theme-park owner chaired by Washington Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder, got court permission Friday to finance its exit from bankruptcy using loans and a stock sale if it wins approval of its reorganization proposal.

 

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi approved the proposed $800 million loan and a $450 million rights offering as well as the company's disclosure statement. Six Flags can now send the restructuring plan to creditors for a vote. A hearing to consider approval of the plan is scheduled for March 8 through March 19.

 

Six Flags filed for bankruptcy protection in June with plans to cut debt by $1.8 billion. Under a plan drawn up by company managers, lenders owed $1.1 billion would be fully repaid and two noteholder groups would split about 30 percent of the stock in the reorganized company. Six Flags would raise $450 million by selling 70 percent of the stock.

 

On Wednesday, Sontchi rejected the first versions of the loan and the rights offering, siding with creditors who claimed that bank and breakup fees associated with the proposals were too high.

 

The same day as that ruling, Six Flags negotiated lower fees with the banks arranging the loan and with noteholders guaranteeing the new stock would be sold through the rights offering. The new breakup fee related to the offering is $11.25 million, down from $22.5 million.

 

On Friday, lawyers for creditors agreed that the reduced fees are "within the market." The creditors opposed the proposed payment schedule for the fees.

 

Sontchi wasn't swayed by the creditors' arguments, saying "in the context of this case" the company's proposed fees and the financing "are reasonable."

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  • 4 weeks later...

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60646E20100107

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. theme park operator Six Flags Inc (SIXFQ.OB) could emerge from bankruptcy as soon as March under an $830 million financing deal it is arranging with lenders, the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

 

DEALS

 

The company said it would seek court approval of its proposed reorganization plan in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in March.

 

Six Flags filed for bankruptcy last June as fewer people attended its amusement parks, leaving it struggling with heavy debt.

 

Six Flags' reorganization plan is supported by a steering committee of its secured creditors and led by investment firm Avenue Capital Management, which would take control of the company under the plan.

 

But the company's official committee of unsecured creditors opposes the plan saying it undervalues the theme park operator.

 

A group of junior noteholders led by Stark Investments want to offer their own plan to take control of the company. It would give back more money to certain groups of creditors.

 

The court hearing on the Avenue-led reorganization plan is expected to last two weeks.

 

A lawyer for the Stark-led group was not available to comment.

 

The company had filed for bankruptcy with an original plan that transferred almost all its stock to senior lenders, including JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) in return for cutting its debt. It threw its support behind the Avenue-led plan in November.

 

Six Flags said in the filing that it expects its 2009 revenue to be down 10.9 percent from the previous year at $111.1 million.

 

The company said its exit financing terms would include a $150 million revolving credit facility, a $680 million term loan, and a financing commitment of $150 million from Time Warner Inc (TWX.N). Time Warner characters, such as Bugs Bunny, are featured at the company's theme parks.

 

Six Flags would also conduct a $450 million rights offering, that would leave Avenue with control of the company. The junior noteholders would get a 7.3 percent equity stake in the reorganized company, under the proposed deal.

 

Six Flags has said in court documents that it does not believe the Stark-led plan has sufficient capital to fund the company's operations and would result in protracted litigation.

 

Six Flags' lenders were holding a meeting on Thursday to discuss the financing, according to Reuters Loan Pricing Corporation [iD:nRLP61287a].

 

The case is In re: Premier International Holdings Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 09-12019.

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Six Flags said in the filing that it expects its 2009 revenue to be down 10.9 percent from the previous year at $111.1 million.
Six Flags filed for bankruptcy last June as fewer people attended its amusement parks, leaving it struggling with heavy debt.
U.S. theme park operator Six Flags Inc (SIXFQ.OB) could emerge from bankruptcy as soon as March under an $830 million financing deal it is arranging with lenders, the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

 

So let me get this straight...the 300 million they couldn't pay their PIERS that bankrupted them in the first place can be resolved by refinancing for 500 million more, despite a gradual declince in attendance and revenue. I'm no genius or super analyst, but someone who gets this please help me out. I don't understand this.

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Screamscape has summed up what seems t be another interesting (yet lengthy) chapter in the Six Flags story. PARC Management, the company that bought several of the former Six Flags parks seems to have missed its payment window, neglected to pay the late fees and has completely ignored its required annual payment. Six Flags has now filed a claim that, if approved, could return control of those properties back to Six Flags.

 

http://www.screamscape.com/html/industry_news.htm#SixFlags

 

It’s kind of a long read and I gave up myself part-way through, but Six Flags has filed a claim against PARC Management for unpaid funds related to the sale of several former Six Flags properties. So far it looks like there are disagreements over PARC refusing to pay certain penalty fees owed to Six Flags from a previous late payment as well as a non-payment of a $1.7 million annual payment due at the start of the year. In short… unless PARC pays up, Six Flags is seeking to take back control of the former properties sold to PARC Management including Darien Lake, Elitch Gardens, Frontier City and more. Anyone with a legal background want to skim through it and give us an easy to understand breakdown?

 

The entire claim can be found online here: http://www.kccllc.net/documents/8812019/8812019100108000000000008.pdf

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Screamscape has summed up what seems t be another interesting (yet lengthy) chapter in the Six Flags story. PARC Management, the company that bought several of the former Six Flags parks seems to have missed its payment window, neglected to pay the late fees and has completely ignored its required annual payment. Six Flags has now filed a claim that, if approved, could return control of those properties back to Six Flags.

 

http://www.screamscape.com/html/industry_news.htm#SixFlags

 

It’s kind of a long read and I gave up myself part-way through, but Six Flags has filed a claim against PARC Management for unpaid funds related to the sale of several former Six Flags properties. So far it looks like there are disagreements over PARC refusing to pay certain penalty fees owed to Six Flags from a previous late payment as well as a non-payment of a $1.7 million annual payment due at the start of the year. In short… unless PARC pays up, Six Flags is seeking to take back control of the former properties sold to PARC Management including Darien Lake, Elitch Gardens, Frontier City and more. Anyone with a legal background want to skim through it and give us an easy to understand breakdown?

 

The entire claim can be found online here: http://www.kccllc.net/documents/8812019/8812019100108000000000008.pdf

 

This could be interesting. It no secret that PARC is having financial problems and is not investing in the parks much. If Six Flags can get it financials in order and invest in their parks more in the future, it could be a postive for Elitch, Darien and others. I also like Six Flags new approach to more themed rides and family attractions.

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So, I am confused. PARC is simply a management company, they do not own the parks, at least to my knowledge. The owner is CNL Lifestyle. So who is making the payments to SF to pay off the parks, Parc of CNL?

 

With that in mind, (^) I don't think Parc has the full decision in making investments as they are simply a management group. The money is coming from CNL I believe.

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