Trends in Technology

8 Bankrupt Companies that Bounced Back and Gained More Success

October 31, 2021 by Bobby J Davidson
Read similar articles in: Business, Business Technology, Industry Stories

Every year, some companies go bankrupt while others somehow rise from the ashes. This is, in part, due to the ways the global economy is changing with technology, consumer trends, and now COVID-19. When a company is on the brink of failure, it usually files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This allows bankrupt companies to undergo a reorganization of affairs, debts, and assets.

While some companies succeed in restructuring and revive their businesses, others end up liquidating assets and closing their doors permanently.

In this post, we’ll look at 8 companies that filed for bankruptcy and came back stronger than ever.

Read on to learn more!

Bankrupt Companies

With recession gripping large parts of the world, companies and entrepreneurs face bankruptcy daily. Some have their retailed stores scattered globally, and some are unseen threads that hold together the fabric of a country’s economy. Their products are in our homes, their movies entertained us, and their airplanes flew us to new and familiar destinations.

Bankrupt companies not only affect entrepreneurs, the workers, and the stakeholders involved but entire societies and ways of living.

Imagine McDonald’s or the WWE filing for Bankruptcy – the spillover effects will not only be financial but deeply personal and emotional.

And for smaller businesses or businesses that a more niche clientele, even the thought of bankruptcy is daunting. Not to mention, the recent bankruptcy filing from retailers like Chuck E Cheese, Toys ‘R’ Us, and others might be another source of anxiety and stress for small business owners. After all, these are some of the most successful companies around the country and in the world.

The fact is, declaring bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily signal the end of a company. With a proper restructuring strategy, brands can get back on their feet and emerge stronger. Here are 8 bankrupt companies that bounced back and gained more success:

1. Apple

You might find it hard to believe that the first US company to be valued at $2 trillion was once in dire straits. While the company didn’t actually file for bankruptcy, it was on the verge of going bankrupt in 1997. And against all odds, Microsoft, Apple’s biggest rival, swooped in with a $150 million investment and saved the company.

Then founder Steve Jobs returned, launching the iMac and iPod, before announcing the first iPhone in 2007. And the rest is history.

2. Marvel

Have you ever wondered why you often hear news about Marvel buying back the copyright of its characters? The reason behind this is that back in 1996, Marvel filed for bankruptcy due to declining comic book sales. To survive, the company had to sell the rights of characters like Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four to get back on its feet.

In 2009, Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion following the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with feature films like Ironman, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Avengers. As of 2020, their movies have grossed over $22 billion.

3. American Airlines

American Airlines is among the many airline bankrupt companies that have bounced back and gained more success. This list also included Delta, United, Virgin Atlantic, and Air Canada, to name a few. However, American Airlines’ recovery was particularly impressive. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and was profitable again in 2014.

4. General Motors

General Motors is one of America’s oldest and biggest automobile manufacturers. However, in 2008 following the financial crisis, it nearly ended up in the junkyard. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and the US government spent $50 billion to bail it out, losing about $11.2 billion in the process. With new management, this once bankrupt company is now among the world’s best-run automobile companies.

5. The Chicago Cubs

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to football fans that the Chicago Cubs were at one point on the verge of financial ruin considering its 100-year losing streak (Billy Goat Curse). Even though the team has made headlines for long reasons, Chicago has one of the best crowds in the country.

So, thanks to their spectacular attendance record, the Ricketts family, prominent bankers from Chicago, purchased the team for $845 million. This was after the owners filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009.

6. Kodak

Before smartphones and digital cameras were a thing, Kodak ruled the photography world and was an essential part of the film industry. Like Nokia, the company was slow to adapt to new trends, which in their case was the new wave of digital photography. In January 2012, the company filed for bankruptcy, and after years of reorganization and new product offerings, it is once again profitable.

7. Best Buy

Best Buy is currently the world’s largest and most popular brick-and-mortar electronic store. However, it made the list of bankrupt companies in 2010 as sales and profits plummeted. And it looked like the retail giant might have to close up shop forever.

Thanks to new management and CEO, things took a turn for the better as the company transformed the store’s online and in-store experience making it easier for customers to research different products and place an order.

8. Jack in the Box

In 1993, a severe E. coli outbreak at Jack in the Box restaurants hospitalized 175 customers and workers and killed 4 children. This made headlines all over the country, and after several layoffs, most plans to expand were put on hold. However, the company recovered and is one of the most popular fast-food chains in the United States.

And one of the main reasons the company was able to gain more success after coming back from bankruptcy was their marketing campaigns that enforced strict-food safety standards.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re a retail giant, a small business, or an aspiring entrepreneur struggling with finances, filing for bankruptcy is a hard pill to swallow. On a positive note, some of the most prolific, popular, and profitable businesses today were once among the list of bankrupt companies. So, no matter how dire your financial circumstances are, it’s not the end of the world.

And if you need help reviving your business to gain more success, visit Percento Technologies today.