Cineworld’s legal team was back in bankruptcy court on 21 February to detail a schedule for the remaining activities related to its Chapter 11 filing that would see it exiting bankruptcy by the end of May. The world’s second largest exhibitor is simultaneously negotiating a debt-for-equity transaction with their existing lenders and seeking a buyer for its worldwide assets in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Israel, Central Europe and Eastern Europe.
In regards to the latter, initial bids were due in 16 February and while Cineworld received indicative proposals for the segments not included in the bankruptcy case – such as Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Israel – there were no offers for the entire company. Nor did Cineworld receive any all cash bids or a bid that came close to the USD $6 billion of secured indebtedness that exists on the company’s balance sheet. It is highly unlikely such a buyer exists.
Thus Cineworld appears headed for a standalone reorganization wherein their existing lenders take over the company. In that scenario unsecured creditors would need to vote on the plan which could see them receiving pennies on the dollar for their impaired claims. This includes the USD $965 million judgement against Cineworld that a Canadian court awarded Cineplex over a failed 2019 acquisition agreement.