AMF Bowling Worldwide and 15 of its affiliates have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a move aimed at reducing debt. It is the company's second bankruptcy filing in the past dozen years.

AMF Bowling has already reached in agreement on financial restructuring with key financial stakeholders, according to the company, and has secured new financing of $50 million for working capital needs during restructuring.

In a statement, the company said "adverse economic conditions" had hit its core customer base hard over the past several years.

On Tuesday, the Virginia-based bowling alley operator and 15 of its affiliates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

AMF operates 270 bowling centers in the U.S. and Mexico, making it the world's largest bowling alley operator. In a statement on its website, the company said the primary benefit of its pre-arranged financial restructuring will be to "eliminate a significant amount of debt," resulting in a "stronger balance sheet and an improved capital structure," and giving AMF "more capacity to continue improving our centers, investing in growth opportunities and customer offerings, and be prepared to move forward on a financially stronger foundation."

AMF plans to emerge from bankruptcy within the next five months with control of the company presumably passing to its creditors. AMF bowling centers remain open for business; vendors, suppliers, and employees will be paid..

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