Apex Parks Group, which is backed by The Carlyle Group and Edgewater Funds, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apex is planning on being acquired by a lender group led by Cerberus Capital Management LP. Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP is serving as legal advisor to Apex while Scott Avila of Paladin Management Group is serving as chief restructuring officer. Irvine, California-based Apex owns and operates 10 family entertainment centers and two water parks. It is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
IRVINE, Calif., April 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Apex Parks Group, LLC (“Apex” or “Company”), today announced that it is pursuing a comprehensive financial restructuring aimed at reducing the Company’s current debt and, ultimately, enhancing operations to continue to serve guests and communities for years to come. As part of this process, Apex expects to enter into a stalking horse purchase agreement (“Agreement”) with the Company’s prepetition secured lenders (“Lenders”) to sell substantially all of the Company’s assets and operations and has filed for Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the District of Delaware to facilitate the sale. The Lenders will also provide financing to support the Company during the restructuring.
“The actions we are taking today will help better position the Company for the future and enable us to continue serving our guests, team members and other business partners in the years ahead,” said John Fitzgerald, Apex CEO. “Apex has faced a number of challenges in recent years, including increased industry competition and consolidation, extensive operational expenditures and the seasonal nature of the business. To address these challenges, we have implemented numerous operational initiatives to increase profitability; however, despite these efforts and the hard work of our team members, continuing market headwinds and operational challenges have prevented us from meaningfully improving financial performance. After an exhaustive examination of all options, we’ve determined that a sale of the Company through the Chapter 11 process is the best path forward to enable Apex to focus on future operational transformation and growth.”
The Chapter 11 process will not affect the operations of Apex’s 10 family entertainment centers and two water parks in California, Florida, and New Jersey. The Company has temporarily closed all locations in accordance with federal and local government mandates and CDC guidelines to proactively protect guests and employees in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but expects to return to operating in the ordinary course upon reopening of the locations.
Upon resumption of regular business operations, the Company intends to:
Honor customer programs such as Season Passes and gift cards at its operating parks
Pay employee wages and benefits in the ordinary course of business
Pay vendors and suppliers in a timely fashion
“We look forward to reopening the parks so that we can continue to provide exceptional and memorable guest experiences for our communities,” Fitzgerald added. “I also want to extend our deepest gratitude to our team members. We recognize this is a challenging time on numerous fronts and look forward to us all returning to work.”
The Company will file various first-day motions along with the sale motion and stalking horse purchase agreement in the coming days. To ensure maximum recovery for all stakeholders, the stalking horse bid provides a baseline bid against which the Company will seek higher or otherwise better offers.
Court filings, as well as other information related to the restructuring, are available at http://www.kccllc.net/apex, or by calling (866) 967-1781 (US/Canada Toll Free Number) or (310) 751-2681 (International Toll Number).
Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP is serving as legal advisor to the Company and Scott Avila of Paladin Management Group is serving as Chief Restructuring Officer.
About Apex Parks Group
Apex Parks Group is a privately held company with 10 family entertainment centers and two water parks. Properties are located in California, Florida, and New Jersey. Apex Parks Group was founded in 2014 to acquire and operate best-in-class out-of-home entertainment assets operated with a commitment to excellence, to the communities they serve, and to delivering value that exceeds expectations. For more information, please visit www.apexparksgroup.com.