From the Wall Street Journal, Six Flags, Inc., which has three parks in metro Atlanta (Six Flags, White Water and American Adventures), has filed a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy petition this morning in the District of Delaware.  Click here for the company news release and here for an article that attaches the petition.

From the WSJ article –

The theme-park company, shouldering more than $2 billion in debt, had been racing to restructure outside of court, negotiating with lenders, selling parks and laying off staff. But it couldn’t outrun the deteriorating economy and a looming $288 million payment due preferred shareholders this August, along with $31 million in unpaid dividends.

Six Flags, whose theme parks attract more than 25 million visitors a year, said it filed Chapter 11 with a prearranged reorganization plan that garnered unanimous approval from its lenders’ steering committee. The plan would deleverage Six Flags’ balance sheet by about $1.8 billion and eliminate more than $300 million in preferred stock obligations, the company said.

Low consumer confidence kept attendance down at Six Flags’ 20 parks, which dot several cities across North America, including Chicago, San Antonio and Mexico City. Revenue fell and the company delayed certain debt payments.... A few months ago, Six Flags hired law firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP to prepare for a bankruptcy filing. It also hired Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin to negotiate with creditors.