Six Flags, a U.S. amusement park company, is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying it needs to reorganize and shed 1.8 billion dollars of debt, a newspaper report said on Sunday.
Mark Shapiro, the company's chief executive, said the move won't affect the operation of its 20 theme parks in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The company filed for bankruptcy despite having a strong year in 2008. Six Flags said it had a great year in 2008, seeing 25 million visitors and posting record revenue.
Executives are trying to lighten a 2.4-billion-dollar debt load that they say is unsustainable, the paper said.
Saturday's bankruptcy filing followed a failure of an earlier plan to negotiate an out-of-court deal with creditors, said the paper.
Six Flags' parks include Magic Mountain in Valencia, one of Southern California's largest theme parks.
Magic Mountain in Valencia is "running at full throttle," despite parent company Six Flags' bankruptcy filing, a company spokeswoman said in remarks published by the paper.
"This will have no bearing on the park's operations or guest experience," said the spokeswoman.
Six Flags shares have traded below one dollar since September. They closed at 26 cents on Friday.