Cineworld looks for fresh start amid plan to exit US bankruptcy in July | Cineworld

Cineworld has said it expects to exit bankruptcy protection in July as the troubled cinema group secured further backing from lenders for its restructuring plan.

The update from the world’s second-largest cinema chain, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, came almost nine months after it filed for bankruptcy protection in the US. Cineworld had been struggling with a ballooning $5bn (£3bn) debt and low audience numbers.

The company, which had filed for bankruptcy the protection order to give itself time to reorganise its debts and assets, said it had struck a deal with lenders controlling nearly all of its revolving credit facilities, and 69% of its outstanding debts. This means it can move forward with a restructuring plan and, in effect, have a fresh start later this summer.

On Thursday, the company said Cineworld and its affected subsidiaries expected to “emerge from the Chapter 11 cases in July 2023”.

Cineworld, which runs about 750 sites globally, confirmed last month it had abandoned attempts to try to sell its US, UK and Irish businesses after it failed to receive any acceptable offers. It also plans to raise about $2.3bn in new funding in lieu of the sale.

The chain also confirmed the restructuring plan would still result in all shareholders being wiped out. Cineworld, whose shares have plunge by almost 99% over the past five years, was hit hard by Covid pandemic restrictions, which led to the enforced closure of its cinema sites.

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Cineworld said its cinemas would continue to operate as it pushed ahead with its restructuring plan, and that the company would honour all existing memberships including at its Regal, Cinema City, Picturehouse and Planet venues.

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