British company Cineworld Group said in a statement that a “voluntary Chapter 11 filing in the United States” was one of the options it was considering in an effort to reduce its debt burden.
Meanwhile, the Cineworld and Regal theaters were open for “business as usual”, it added, and will remain so.
“Cineworld would expect to maintain its business in the ordinary course until and after any filing and ultimately to continue its business in the longer term without any material impact on its employees,” the company said in the statement released in response to reports last week .
Cineworld said earlier last week that, despite a “gradual pick-up in demand” since last spring, admissions were below expectations.
A Chapter 11 filing would give the company more time to restructure its debt and make a proposal to the bankruptcy court, while continuing to operate. Many large American companies have successfully used Chapter 11 to put their businesses on a firmer financial footing.
Cineworld, which owns more than 500 cinemas across the US as well as Picturehouse Cinemas in the UK, reiterated on Monday that any “deleveraging transaction” would result in “very significant dilution of existing equity interests” for Cineworld shareholders.
“Cineworld’s evaluation of these strategic options remains ongoing. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate,” it added.
— Anna Cooban and Frank Pallotta contributed reporting.