Cineworld is facing potential cinema closures as part of a rescue deal

All cinemas in England have been closed since the second lockdown started

Cineworld is reportedly in talks to try and arrange a rescue deal, which could lead to cinema closures.

The chain is believed to have been in talks with lenders to try to negotiate waivers on banking agreements, which are due in December and in June next year.

One option being discussed with bank lenders is a company voluntary arrangement, an insolvency process that could help Cineworld cut its rent bill, reports BBC News.

Company voluntary arrangements (CVA) have been used by retailers as part of restructurings to push through closures and rent cuts.
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The Financial Times claims Cineworld has been individually negotiating with landlords for rent cuts at its 127 sites, and the chain has appointed restructuring experts AlixPartners.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in ‘No Time To Die
Daniel Craig as James Bond in ‘No Time To Die’. Credit: Nicole Dove / MGM / The Hollywood Archive

Last month, it was confirmed that the cinema chain would temporarily suspend its operations in the US and UK amid the COVID-19 pandemic, putting thousands of jobs – including 5,500 in Britain – at risk.

Cineworld’s chief executive Mooky Greidinger said in a statement at the time, that the decision to shut their cinemas was not “made lightly”.

“We did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets – including meeting, and often exceeding, local health and safety guidelines in our theatres and working constructively with regulators and industry bodies to restore public confidence in our industry,” he said.

“Cineworld will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations in these markets at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen.”

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The cinema chain also reported a huge loss for the first six months of the year after it was forced to temporarily close some cinemas and movie studios delayed the release of some blockbusters including the forthcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die.

Last month, Greidinger wrote to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson with a plea to “save cinemas to avert job losses and a cultural blackout.”

All cinemas in England have been closed since the second lockdown started on November 5.

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