Bally Total Fitness Looks for Cash; Fends Off Stockholder Group

CHICAGO — Bally Total Fitness plans to raise $175 million through a five-year term loan facility to refinance existing debt, including its present $100 million securitization facility, the company announced. As lead arranger, J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. began marketing the new term loan facility in September.

This facility would provide Bally with $75 million of additional liquidity, used to refinance debt and for general corporate purposes.

In addition, Emanuel Pearlman, who led the aborted effort this summer by Liberation Investment Group LLC to submit governance proposals at the Bally annual meeting, told the press that he was considering efforts to overhaul Bally management. The group owns 6.7 percent of Bally and had proposed separating the offices of CEO and chairman of the board — both positions held by Paul Toback. Pearlman's new efforts stem from a $100,000 raise given to Toback, whose annual salary after the raise will be $575,000, and from Bally's postponement in August of issuance of its second-quarter results. Bally has obtained an extension from its revolving credit lenders to Nov. 1 for delivering its second quarter financial statements.

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