Photo by Boso
I just can't resist the pun opportunities presented by Bally's second bankruptcy filing in 14 months. Apparently, Bally has not internalized its own core message to its customers: you have to burn more calories than you take in (in other words, burn off more debt than you take on). With $1.4 billion in assets and only $479.5 million in net revenue for the 9 months ended September 30, 2008, Bally's $1.5 billion in debt leaves its balance sheet looking almost as flabby as it did when the company went on its first crash bankruptcy diet in 2007. Bally's personal trainer--Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland in the Southern District of New York--now has the second case, even before he had finished up the final details on the last one! Rather than focusing on toning up its balance sheet, Bally appears ready to throw in the towel and pursue a negotiated sale. One hopes the new owners will impose a stricter nutrition/workout regime on Bally, unlike the bloated hedge-fund firm that now owns it (these hedge funds are becoming infamous for their force-feeding of other formerly fit companies like Mervyn's).