While their 12 operating properties (10 family entertainment centers and 2 water parks) are all currently closed due to government directives regarding COVID-19, Apex filed its Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in US court on Wednesday. bankruptcies. According to The Wall Street Journal’s Becky Yerzak, it is speculated that Apex will be acquired by a group of lenders led by Ceberus Capital Management LP.
Apex’s primary lenders should serve as stalking horse bidder as part of a court-supervised auction for all of the company’s assets. This means that they will provide a “basic” offer against which a bankrupt company can seek better offers.
“The steps we take today will help better position the company for the future and allow us to continue to serve our customers, team members and other business partners in the years to come,” said John Fitzgerald, CEO of Apex on Wednesday. “Apex has faced a number of challenges in recent years, including increased industry competition and consolidation, significant operational expenses and the seasonal nature of the business. To meet these challenges, we have put in place numerous operational initiatives to increase profitability; However, despite these efforts and the hard work of our team members, persistent market headwinds and operational challenges prevented us from significantly improving our financial performance. After an exhaustive review of all options, we have determined that a sale of the company through the Chapter 11 process is the best path forward to allow Apex to focus on future operational transformation and growth.
The decision to file for bankruptcy was aimed at reducing debt and Apex plans to resume operations. When they reopen, Apex plans to honor gift cards and season tickets, and pay its employees and vendors. The company’s lenders will provide financing to support the company during the restructuring.
According to WSJ: The bankruptcy petition lists assets ranging from $50 million to $100 million and liabilities between $100 million and $500 million. Among the unsecured creditors, the largest are homeowners and professional services.
“We look forward to reopening the parks so we can continue to provide exceptional and memorable experiences for our guests,” Fitzgerald added. “I would also like to express our deepest gratitude to the members of our team. We recognize that this is a difficult time on many fronts and we look forward to all of us getting back to work.