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Bloomberg - Six Flags Management Out?

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Bloomberg - Six Flags Management Out?

Postby NotBill » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:34 am

Got this from Bloomberg via The Daily Herald today:



Six Flags Incumbent Management May Be on the Way Out

Incumbent management of Six Flags Inc. evidently will lose their jobs if holding company noteholders succeed in taking over the theme-park operator by winning confirmation of their competing reorganization plan.

In a statement last week, holding company noteholders owning $650 million in bonds said they are in the “final stages of finalizing” debt and equity financing for their plan. The noteholders explained how the bankruptcy judge said that having financing commitments behind a plan at a higher valuation would be a “key factor” in his decision about which plan to approve.

The noteholders’ statement said they have identified a “highly experienced, industry leading management team” to take over once their plan is approved and implemented. The holding company noteholders contend bondholders of the operating companies are trying to take over “at a substantial discount.”

The holding company noteholders also said they voted against the company’s plan. The contested confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin March 8. For a comparison of the company’s plan and the alternative proposed by holding company noteholders, click here to see the Bloomberg daily bankruptcy report from Dec. 1.

The Six Flags Chapter 11 petition in June listed assets of $2.9 billion against debt totaling $3.4 billion, including a $850 million secured term loan and a $243 million revolving credit.

New York-based Six Flags filed under Chapter 11 with 20 theme parks, including 18 in the U.S. The parks have 800 rides, including 120 roller coasters.

The case is Premier International Holdings Inc., 09-12019, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).


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Re: Bloomberg - Six Flags Management Out?

Postby NotBill » Tue May 18, 2010 7:56 am

Took a few months but looks like Shapiro is out.

http://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201005/1921/

Mark Shapiro is out at Six Flags; Former Paramount Parks head Al Weber is in

By Robert Niles
Published: May 12, 2010 at 8:38 AM
So... it looks like Six Flags is making a big management change, after all.
The amusement park chain, which emerged from bankruptcy earlier this month, has lost its CEO, Mark Shapiro. Six Flags said today that Shapiro is no longer with the company and that Al Weber Jr. - the former head of Paramount Parks - is now Six Flags' president and interim CEO.

Six Flags will seek a permanent CEO and has hired a search firm to help identify candidates.

Shapiro and former chairman Dan Snyder had the right idea for Six Flags - to convert the company's parks from teen hang-outs to family-friendly destinations. But the company lacked the multi-millions of dollars it needed at each park to build the type of attractions that would attract the family audience.

Six Flags' previous owners, the former Premier Parks, had positioned Six Flags exclusively as thrill parks, with no theming and minimal customer service. Perhaps if Snyder and Shapiro had gained control of the company earlier, when it could have sold parks for maximum real estate value, they could have raised the cash they needed for a massive capital conversion at Six Flags' remaining parks.

But by the time Shapiro's team had control of the company, the real estate bubble was beginning to burst and there was no market to buy theme parks at top dollar. So Six Flags added some relatively inexpensive kiddie lands (Thomas the Tank Engine, the Wiggles) and made do the best it could.

The improvements at many Six Flags parks have been substantial. My local park, Magic Mountain, is a joy to visit now, compared with a decade ago. So theme park fans owe Mark Shapiro their thanks for that.

But what will Al Weber and the new Six Flags owners do with the chain now?
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Re: Bloomberg - Six Flags Management Out?

Postby NotBill » Tue May 18, 2010 8:03 am

Guess this news is a few days old and just missed it, this is unfortunate I think, Shapiro seemed to have things going in the right direction and just lacked the capital to do everything required. Coming out of bankruptcy would have provided that opportunity, appears there was likely a falling out between Shapiro and the board regarding the direction of the company.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1219047320100512

Six Flags abruptly names interim CEO; Shapiro out
Wed May 12, 2010 3:16pm EDT

* Former advisor to junior bondholders now interim CEO

NEW YORK, May 12 (Reuters) - Six Flags, which emerged from bankruptcy protection this month, abruptly replaced its chief executive on Wednesday, turning to a 40-year industry veteran who has served as an advisor to the company's current owners.

New York-based Six Flags, which operates 19 parks, named Alexander Weber as its interim president and CEO. During the bankruptcy proceedings, Weber was an advisor, first to Six Flags' senior bondholders and later to junior bondholders led by Stark Investments.

Weber replaces former CEO Mark Shapiro who is no longer with the company. Six Flags did not offer a reason for Shapiro's departure.

Shapiro's surprising exit comes a little more than a week after the company exited bankruptcy protection and wound up in the hands of its junior bondholders.

A former ESPN executive, Shapiro took the top job at Six Flags in 2006. He shifted the company's strategy toward attractive more families to its amusement parks.

"Mark had a very strong vision for that company and taking it forward," said theme park consultant Dennis Speigel. "I have to believe that he wouldn't leave unless he came to a disagreement with the board."

Six Flags has wiped out more than a billion dollars in debt after filing for Chapter 11 last June. The company emerged from bankruptcy on May 3, just before the start of the lucrative summer season. [ID:nN03197397]

Weber is the former CEO of Paramount Parks, a theme park company that was bought by Cedar Fair (FUN.N) in 2006. He most recently was a management affiliate for private equity firm MidOcean Partners.

In testimony earlier this year, Six Flags' Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Speed said MidOcean, among other companies, approached Six Flags about doing a deal.

Last June, analysts had expected the management team would survive a restructuring. But Shapiro is the second high- profile executive to leave the company this month.

The company's emergence from bankruptcy also ended the reign of Washington Redskins football team owner Daniel Snyder, who led a heated proxy fight for the company in 2005 and installed himself as chairman.

Six Flags said it has retained an executive search firm and will consider both internal and external job candidates for the CEO post. (Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
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Re: Bloomberg - Six Flags Management Out?

Postby steven » Tue May 18, 2010 11:29 am

Thanks for the info, NotBill.

Also, Al Weber used to be at the Santa Clara park.

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