Regal Cinemas owner Cineworld announced Friday that a U.S. bankruptcy court has approved its request for “first day” financial aid of up to $785 million.
Cineworld, which had sought about $1.94 billion in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing facility, will now have the funding to maintain current operations “to meet its ongoing obligations, including post-petition obligations to vendors and suppliers, as well as employee wages, salaries and benefits programs,” the company said in a statement. “The remainder of the DIP facility will become available upon court approval on a final basis.”
The U.K.-based movie chain, which operates 9,139 screens at 747 sites in 10 countries, disclosed this week that it had just $4 million in cash on hand — which necessitated the influx of new financing through Wednesday’s bankruptcy filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.
According to Cineworld’s bankruptcy filing, the company has between $10 billion and $50 billion in outstanding liabilities. The biggest unsecured creditors include the Bank of New York, which is owed $213 million, as well as all of the major Hollywood studios.
The company’s debt claims include $20.5 million to Universal; $15.1 million to Lionsgate; $14.1 million to Disney; $11.4 million to Imax; $3.3 Million to Sony Pictures and $7.7 million to Warner Bros.
Cineworld also said that with the aid of its Chapter 11 filing, it expects to be on steady ground in the first quarter of 2023 while paying its vendors in full and its employees their standard wages.
Cineworld CEO Moshe “Mooky” Greidinger hailed the first-day relief as a “positive step” in the company’s restructuring efforts. “As we position Cineworld for long-term growth, through this Chapter 11 process and beyond, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing our guests with the most memorable moviegoing experiences and maintaining our long-standing relationships with our business partners,” he said.