A leading cinema group in Europe, Cineworld Group has announced that it will stop the sales process for its businesses in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland because it was unsuccessful in finding an all-cash buyer.
According to Reuters, the group has reached a conditional agreement with its creditors to exit bankruptcy.
The company, which is currently protected under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, has stated that it will still consider offers for the sale of its “Rest of World” business. This includes its operations outside of the U.S., UK, and Ireland.
A court filing made on Sunday, Cineworld plans to raise $2.26 billion in the first half of 2023 in order to emerge from bankruptcy proceedings.
In 2022, Cineworld filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States due to the burden of its $5 billion debt becoming too difficult to manage.
The CEO, Mooky Greidinger said in a statement, “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.”
Cineworld is a cinema chain that operates in almost 750 locations and has more than 9,000 screens, making it the second-largest cinema chain in the world in terms of screen count.
The company has a presence in 10 countries, including the UK, US, Poland, and Israel, and employs approximately 30,000 people globally.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cinema chains were one of the industries that suffered the most. Many cinemas had to close for extended periods during the lockdowns, while others were only allowed to operate at a reduced capacity because of social distancing rules.
As a result of the pandemic, Cineworld reported a substantial loss in the first six months of 2020. This was due to the temporary closure of some of its cinemas and the postponement of the release of several blockbuster movies by movie studios.