Cineworld shares fall after the bankruptcy report is being prepared

People walk past a Cineworld in Leicester’s Square, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London, Britain, October 4, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

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  • Expects to file Chapter 11 petition in US – WSJ
  • Considers filing for insolvency in UK – WSJ
  • Shares fall more than 80%

Aug 19 (Reuters) – Cineworld Group ( CINE.L ), the world’s second-largest cinema chain operator, is preparing to file for bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, just days after warning that a lack of blockbusters would hit liquidity. in short term.

Cineworld declined to comment on the WSJ report.

Shares in the London-listed company fell more than 81% to a record low of 1.8 pence after the WSJ said Cineworld is expected to file for Chapter 11 in the US and is also considering insolvency proceedings in the UK.

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In 2020, as the world battled the pandemic, Cineworld struggled to survive a coronavirus collapse in filmmaking and cinema as the lockdown kept viewers from going out.

The company, which operates under the Cinema City, Picturehouse, Regal and Yes Planet brands, has seen a dearth of big-budget films that has slowed take-offs and lessened the chances of a pandemic blowback. read more

Cinema chain operators have seen a downturn as audiences have become dependent on streaming movies at home.

“We have nothing to add beyond the statement we issued on Wednesday,” a company spokesperson said.

Net debt was $8.9 billion, including lease obligations of $4.84 million, at the end of 2021, with cash and restricted cash of $354.3 million.

Cineworld also faces payment obligations to former shareholders of its U.S. division Regal and a potential multimillion-dollar fine in a dispute with Canada’s Cineplex ( CGX.TO ). read more

Refinitiv calculations assign Cineworld a combined credit score of 1, indicating that default within the next year is very likely.

Cineworld has hired lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis LLP and consultants from AlixPartners to advise on the bankruptcy process, the WSJ said, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

AlixPartners declined to comment, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cineworld said on Wednesday it was in talks about potential financing or a restructuring of its balance sheet, but noted the risk to shareholders of a “very significant dilution” of their interests.

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Reporting by Amna Karimi and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamanath, Kirsten Donovan and Mike Harrison

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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