Cineworld halts sale of UK and US operations amid debt restructuring

Troubled cinema chain Cineworld has said it will raise US$2.26bn (£1.8bn) in new funding as part of a plan to emerge from bankruptcy and finalize a planned sale of its US, UK and European businesses. Ireland.

The debt-ridden group, which runs about 750 sites around the world, filed for bankruptcy in the US last year.

It has now said it will restructure its approximately $5 billion debt to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy during the first half of 2023.

The financial restructuring will see lenders provide around $1.46bn (£1.2bn) in new credit, as well as $800m (£651m) of equity to lenders.

Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Premiere – London
The UK premiere of Dungeons And Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, at Cineworld Leicester Square in London (Ian West/PA)

Earlier this year, Cineworld, which also owns the Picturehouse chain in the UK, began a process to find a potential buyer.

However, after struggling to find an acceptable offer, it said on Monday that it will now halt potential sales efforts for companies in the UK, US and Ireland.

However, it will continue with an auction for its operations outside of these countries.

Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, said: “This agreement with our lenders represents a ‘vote of confidence’ in our business and significantly advances Cineworld towards achieving its long-term strategy in a changing entertainment environment.

“With a growing list of blockbusters and audiences returning to theaters in ever greater numbers, Cineworld is poised to continue to offer moviegoers the most immersive movie experiences and maintain its position as the ‘best place to see a movie’ ”.

The group said it will continue to operate as “business as usual” throughout the financial restructuring process.

Cineworld’s shares have plunged nearly 99% in the past five years as it was hit particularly hard by the pandemic, which forced its movie theaters to close.

The business has posted significant losses since then and has also come under pressure from growth in streaming services.


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