Business Bankruptcies: Who's Filing and How Does it Affect You?
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Business Bankruptcy News 2009


General Motors Company (GM), a U.S. automaker based in Detroit Michigan, filed for a government-assisted Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 1, 2009. It plans to re-emerge as a smaller and less debt-burdened organization in several months. Established as the world’s second largest automaker, GM is continuing operations during the current bankruptcy proceedings. Based on total assets, this ranks as the fourth largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Six Flags, the amusement park company, is filing for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11, stating that it needs to reorganize and shed $1.8 billion of debt. This was announced on June 13, 2009. According to Mark Shapiro, the New York-based company’s chief executive officer, the move will not affect the operation of its 20 theme parks in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The company says to have done very well in 2008, but is trying to reduce their unsustainable debt load of $2.4 billion. Saturday’s bankruptcy filing followed the failure of an earlier plan to negotiate an out-of-court deal with creditors.

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Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC (PMH), parent company to The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, filed bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Philadelphia on Wednesday, June 10, 2009. The company was founded in 2006. They are claiming assets of between $100,001 and $500,000, and liabilities estimated between zero and $50,000. This bankruptcy comes as a result of financial strain caused by dropping circulation and ad revenue.

Bally Total Fitness Holding Corp., the Chicago-based operator of 328 gyms in 25 states, has reached an agreement which will allow it to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, according to court documents filed the week of June 7, 2009. A group including JPMorgan Chase Bank, Wells Fargo Foothill LLC, CIT Business Credit and Anchorage Crossover Credit has made a deal enabling Bally to reduce its debt by $660 million. Bally filed bankruptcy last December, shortly after emerging, heavy with debt, from a previous bankruptcy reorganization.

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