Six Flags wins right to present own plan until April 5

NEW YORK, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Theme park operator Six Flags SIXFQ.OB won a small victory on Friday in its contentious battle to emerge from bankruptcy after a court extended the exclusive period it has to present its restructuring plan.

Six Flags, which has locked horns with creditors for months over its plans to exit bankruptcy, will be the only group allowed to present a restructuring plan to the court until April 5, after which other groups can present their own plans, according to a lawyer for the company.

Six Flags has said the extension means that it will be able to solicit votes ahead of its March 8 confirmation hearing, at which time the court will decide whether to give the plan the go-ahead, without the distraction of a competing plan.

Judge Christopher Sontchi in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware overruled objections from some creditors to an extension to the company’s deadline, according to Paul Harner, a lawyer at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, who represents Six Flags. That right was to have expired last week.

Six Flags sought court protection in June with a restructuring plan that was friendly to its lenders. Then in November it adopted a plan proposed by certain senior bondholders, who plan to take control of the company.

Those bondholders, led by hedge fund Avenue Capital Group, are now battling with a group of junior bondholders, led by hedge fund Stark Investments, that wants its own plan for the company’s reorganization to be adopted.

Harner said the judge also put off until Feb. 23 a decision on a motion to order the creditor committee and the company into mediation. ahead of the confirmation hearing. with the goal of forcing the various groups to a settlement. (Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)