Bankrupt Regal parent Cineworld said it had multiple bids for all or some of its assets in initial expressions of interest due last week. Its business includes Regal in the U.S.; Cineworld and Picturehouse in the UK and Ireland; and “rest of world” cinemas in Central and Eastern Europe, and Israel.
Cineworld attorney Joshua Sussberg told Texas Bankruptcy Court Judge Marvin Isgur at a hearing today that its outreach to 40 potential buyers resulted in “many” offers for the rest-of-world assets and “some strategic interest in the full business” – meaning the entire company. But, he noted, “We did not receive any all-cash bids, and no bid came anywhere near the $6 billion of secured indebtedness that exists on on the company’s balance sheet today.”
It’s keeping the sale process going with a final bid deadline of April 10, but now seems to be mostly leaning into a restructuring plan that is taking shape after months of delay and could be filed with the court next week.
“I admit there are some major issues still outstanding, but we are committed to do what it takes,” Sussberg said.
A hearing is tentatively set for May 30 to vote on the restructuring plan, which will detail how the company and its lenders intend to move it out of bankruptcy.
Cineworld filed for Chapter 11 in September, unable to recover from Covid, a subsequent slow studio release schedule and its mountain of debt. In Regal’s case, some industryites have also blamed the quality of some of its theaters, although the company that’s been led by Mooky Greidiger – and was founded by his grandfather — took exception to that at a previous hearing. It’s been closing theaters and renegotiating terms with landlords.
Cineworld first began trumpeting the sale process after talks with its lender committee seemed to have stalled.
Sussberg stressed that the business had improved in January and February on Avatar: The Way of Water and Ant Man & The Wasp: Quantumania and that a recovery looks set to really take hold through the summer as the pace of tentpoles pick up.