AMF Bowling Worldwide Inc., which operates 270 bowling centers, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday after reaching a deal with key creditors to restructure its debt.

AMF said it plans to exit Chapter 11 within the next five months under the ownership of its senior lenders, subject to higher bids at a court-overseen auction. A majority of the lenders has agreed to the terms of its restructuring, the company said.

"With the support of our key financial stakeholders, we will recapitalize our balance sheet and reduce our burdensome debt load and related costs. This is a necessary next step in our strategic plan to strengthen AMF financially and operationally for the future," Steve Satterwhite, AMF's chief financial officer and chief operating officer, said Tuesday in a statement.