zom·bie /ˈzämbē (noun): the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force; a corpse brought back to life unnaturally by witchcraft or voodoo
Zombies are very popular lately. There are zombie properties, zombie brands, zombie industries, and even zombie leggings.
“Zombification” is a variant of the word zombie, used in the restructuring world to mean headed toward death – as in the case of an industry or a brand.
Zombification can describe an asset with the potential for rebirth – as in the case of properties, as the Wall Street Journal recently reported (“Zombie Properties Come Back to Life” by Eliot Brown, November 2, 2011):
Restructuring professionals are dealing with all manner of zombies. Each one became a zombie in a different way, and we have different approaches to each one of them.
In the case of zombie properties, the causes are so “macro” they are beyond our comprehension. But zombie properties, like Kenny in SouthPark, come back to life. Once a property is in the hands of a new owner, free and clear of old encumbrances, it loses it zombie characteristics, and snaps back to life. Continue reading