Story can be found at http://cypressgardens.com/press.asp
For Immediate Release9/12/2006Adventure Parks Group Announces:
It's Business as Usual
Company Begins Reorganization Process
Company obtains $15 million financing commitment
Investors: (229) 219-7157
Media: Sara Sumner, Public Relations
Phone: (229) 219-7114
Email: [email protected]
Valdosta, GA- On September 11, 2006 Adventure Parks Group, LLC (APG) took a necessary and responsible step in securing the future of Wild Adventures Theme Park and Cypress Gardens Adventure Park. In a move designed to allow the parks to continue to offer its blend of affordable family entertainment, APG voluntarily filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The move is a direct result of the losses sustained by the company due to extensive damages caused by three direct hurricane hits in 2004. Shortly after APG acquired Cypress Gardens, the reorganization and reopening were substantially impacted by over $25 million worth of damages by Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne. The devastation wrought by the storms delayed opening and forced the company to find additional financing to continue reconstruction. Subsequent efforts to reach a claim settlement with the insurance company have been unsuccessful, making it increasingly difficult to meet financial commitments and leading to this step. Employees and guests will not be affected by the reorganization and should expect improved operations at both parks, as APG has obtained a $15 million financing commitment through GE Commercial Finance.
During the reorganization, park guests will continue to enjoy all the entertainment value they have grown to expect without any interruptions. Passports are being honored as usual, as are all other customer programs and policies, to include parking permits, concert reserve seats and group tickets. Additionally, the parks have planned an expanded concert and event line-up for the rest of this year and into 2007.
APG will use the reorganization process to reduce total debt, improve profitability and emerge as a stronger, more viable company. To fund its continuing operations during the restructuring, Adventure Parks Group has secured a $15 million financing facility from GE Commercial Finance. This provides APG with immediate access to new funding which ensures uninterrupted operations and a fun experience for the guests. It also ensures that employee payroll, health and welfare benefits will continue as normal. The company does not expect the reorganization to result in any loss of jobs. The company also hopes a conclusion to the insurance claim will occur during time.
“We intend to use this reorganization process to take the actions necessary to position APG for future success while improving the total guest experience. We deeply regret any adverse impact the reorganization may have on our vendors, shareholders and business partners,” states Kent Buescher, President/CEO. “However, we are convinced that this process will give us the opportunity we need to improve our financial position while growing our business and achieving long-term success for our parks and all our stakeholders. I am hopeful that our guests will feel comfortable enough to continue to honor us with their patronage.”
Adventure Parks Group legal and financial advisors are Stone & Baxter, LP and Alvarez & Marsal, LLC, respectively. More information about Adventure Parks Group is available on the Internet at the parks’ websites, www.wildadventures.net and www.cypressgardens.com.
Adventure Parks Group, LLC, through its subsidiaries, operates two of the largest regional, family-oriented amusement parks in the Southeast. Wild Adventures is a 250-acre theme park located in Valdosta, GA that has been owned and operated by the current management team since 1991. Cypress Gardens Adventure Park is a 150-acre park that has been under control of APG since 2004, although it was originally founded in 1936. Both parks entertained more that 1.1 million guests each in 2005, placing them firmly amongst the Top 50 North American Amusement Parks.