Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse First Boston have landed lead roles on the financing for Code Hennessy & Simmons' acquisition of AMF Bowling Worldwide. AMF shareholders will receive $307.5 million and Code Hennessy will assume AMF's debt, which was $388 million as of the end of October, according to Merrell Wreden, director of investor relations for AMF. He declined to comment on the banks leading the financing. Code Hennessy has formed an affiliate, Kingpin Holdings, which will purchase the company.
AMF emerged from reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year with Deutsche Bank providing a $350 million exit facility (LMW, 1/02). Oaktree Capital Management, Satellite Asset Management and Angelo, Gordon & Co. are among the existing AMF shareholders. "We ended up coming out of bankruptcy owned by firms that invest in debt. I don't think that their horizon was necessarily longer term," Wreden said. "[We] believe this time we'll come out with people who are interested in managing the company for longer term and investing for some growth opportunity." The transaction is expected to close in early 2004. Greenhill & Co. advised AMF on the acquisition. Calls to Code Hennessy officials were not returned. A Merrill spokesman declined comment and CSFB bankers did not return calls.