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#197675 - 06/13/17 05:35 PM Private-Equity Firm Atairos Buys Bowlmor AMF...... *****
goobee Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 522
A/S/L: 58/M/Sunny California
Source = California Bowling News

Private-equity firm Atairos Group is paying more than $1 billion for Bowlmor AMF, nearly four years after the world’s largest bowling-center operator exited bankruptcy protection, according to a person familiar with the matter. The two companies announced the sale, without disclosing a purchase price, earlier this week. Bowlmor AMF was created from the merger of bowling chains Bowlmor and AMF Bowling, which was in bankruptcy at the time. The company has $577 million in debt on its books, according to its most recent earnings report.

The sale to Atairos represents a windfall for owners including Cerberus Capital Management, Credit Suisse and DG Capital, according to the person familiar with the matter. Cerberus Capital and Credit Suisse obtained a 77.5% stake in AMF through their ownership of the company’s junior debt and by investing $50 million in a rights offering.

Bowlmor AMF owns 304 bowling centers in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. It acquired Brunswick Corp.’s bowling centers in 2014 for $270 million.

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#197678 - 06/14/17 11:32 AM Re: Private-Equity Firm Atairos Buys Bowlmor AMF...... [Re: goobee]
BowlerBill Offline
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Registered: 09/08/13
Posts: 420
A/S/L: 55/m/Ca
Originally Posted By: goobee
Source = California Bowling News

Private-equity firm Atairos Group is paying more than $1 billion for Bowlmor AMF, nearly four years after the world’s largest bowling-center operator exited bankruptcy protection, according to a person familiar with the matter. The two companies announced the sale, without disclosing a purchase price, earlier this week. Bowlmor AMF was created from the merger of bowling chains Bowlmor and AMF Bowling, which was in bankruptcy at the time. The company has $577 million in debt on its books, according to its most recent earnings report.

The sale to Atairos represents a windfall for owners including Cerberus Capital Management, Credit Suisse and DG Capital, according to the person familiar with the matter. Cerberus Capital and Credit Suisse obtained a 77.5% stake in AMF through their ownership of the company’s junior debt and by investing $50 million in a rights offering.

Bowlmor AMF owns 304 bowling centers in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. It acquired Brunswick Corp.’s bowling centers in 2014 for $270 million.

Write to Soma Biswas at [email protected]



It seems to me they paid a high price for the debt, real estate and operations. Yes, a few people made a good profit on that sale. Good for them.

They must see untapped potential in the center operations or maybe they value the real estate higher than it's value on the books. Maybe it's the party business they think they can expand.

I big question is if they were able to restructure debt in the BK where it's not so costly it bogs down cash flows.

The only AMF center near me has the lowest number of leagues at any center around. At least at this center, they could try to get more league bowlers to come in.
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#197682 - 06/15/17 12:18 AM Re: Private-Equity Firm Atairos Buys Bowlmor AMF...... [Re: goobee]
goobee Offline
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Posts: 522
A/S/L: 58/M/Sunny California
What's troubling is Cerberus Capital being involved. They are known for buying financially troubled companies and liquidating their assets. The land on which some of the bowling centers stand on is worth a lot more than what bowling centers can bring in.
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#197683 - 06/15/17 10:14 AM Re: Private-Equity Firm Atairos Buys Bowlmor AMF...... [Re: goobee]
Dennis Michael Offline
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Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9575
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
This is most definitely a real estate transaction. Don't kid yourself that it about bowling.

Right after the Brunswick acquisition, Bowlmor AMF sold all of the property on a lease back arrangement. Big cash payout for Bowlmor Execs.

But, they apparently defaulted on the repayment, resulting in the land fire sale.

That's my take. Brunswick land was worth more then its business.

A recently closed AMF center near here, was for sale for $2.1 mill. It never sold.
Now the land is being auctioned for $700,000 and rezoned to condos. With the gutted building.


AMF is NOT in the land management business.
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#197692 - 06/15/17 08:13 PM Re: Private-Equity Firm Atairos Buys Bowlmor AMF...... [Re: goobee]
BOSStull Offline
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#197696 - 06/16/17 10:21 AM Re: Private-Equity Firm Atairos Buys Bowlmor AMF...... [Re: goobee]
W9JAB Offline
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Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 266
A/S/L: 66/m/Il.
Big buy-outs like this are seldom a plus for an industry.
Large corporations and holding company's see an opportunity to either make a fast buck, park cash, increase holdings or leverage a tax loop hole.
I seen it happen over and over again and it never seems to work out well for the affected industry.
Will the bowling centers end up some hybrid Bowling/water park?
or Family "fun" center with go carts and arcade games?
Maybe but as already stated the real estate is likely what there after.
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#197728 - 06/19/17 12:12 AM Re: Private-Equity Firm Atairos Buys Bowlmor AMF...... [Re: BowlerBill]
YankeeBastid Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 06/11/17
Posts: 3
A/S/L: 70/m/SouthCarolina
"they could try to get more league bowlers to come in." I have an idea to enhance the League experience. It is in 'beta' testing and has received the USBC certification number 11925. At a certain point in a league season, bowlers know where they stand towards earning a cash payout or not. My solution is to give them an opportunity for a cash payout every time they bowl, thru all the season. I invite you to examine the website using keyword potbowling. it is free while in beta. We have to merge technology with the tradition of bowling. I look forward to your critique's.

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#197729 - 06/19/17 01:29 AM Re: Private-Equity Firm Atairos Buys Bowlmor AMF...... [Re: W9JAB]
wronghander Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 525
A/S/L: 33/M/Mass
Originally Posted By: W9JAB
Big buy-outs like this are seldom a plus for an industry.
Large corporations and holding company's see an opportunity to either make a fast buck, park cash, increase holdings or leverage a tax loop hole.
I seen it happen over and over again and it never seems to work out well for the affected industry.
Will the bowling centers end up some hybrid Bowling/water park?
or Family "fun" center with go carts and arcade games?
Maybe but as already stated the real estate is likely what there after.

I think there's definitely money to be made in bowling and I'm inclined to believe that Atairos made this purchase based on that. Unfortunately that money is on the boutique end rather than the league end. Hope there's still a place for us competitive bowlers but I definitely could see the company close a lot of the stand alone centers and instead seek out new locations in malls and shopping centers which would mean fewer actual lanes and more of a focus on the restaurant/bar and arcade.
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#197731 - 06/19/17 09:22 AM Re: Private-Equity Firm Atairos Buys Bowlmor AMF...... [Re: goobee]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9575
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
Will watch this closely. While the 1 AMF house has closed, and a former Brunswick house is floundering... a privately owned house has absorbed those leagues and is thriving.

Why, because it caters to bowlers and not parties. Every league night, 40 lanes are used for leagues. The largest one is 32 teams of 5 bowlers. The bar has reasonable pricing and the concession has a carry out business, which says it's pretty good. Both are profitable.

Another house near here has divided the building, so open bowling and leagues are not encumbered by flashing lights of cosmic. A solid wall separated them so both can operate simultaneously. Regular bowler settees for league and couches for the party side.
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#197734 - 06/19/17 12:42 PM Re: Private-Equity Firm Atairos Buys Bowlmor AMF...... [Re: goobee]
goobee Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 522
A/S/L: 58/M/Sunny California
Midtown bowl in Los Angeles. It began life with 48 lanes on two floors, 24 on each. In the 80's, the lower level was converted to a roller rink and the business survived until 2013. I started bowling there way back in the 70's.

It's going to take a lot of imagination to rehabilitate bowling before it goes on to life support.
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