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By Leo Barraclough
International Features Editor
Movie theater operator Cineworld Group, which has 9,139 screens in 10 countries, has received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas for “first day” relief related to its Chapter 11 proceedings filed on Sept. 7. The group’s companies include Regal in the U.S.
The court granted the group immediate access to up to some $785 million of an approximate $1.94 billion debtor-in-possession financing facility that, together with its cash reserves and cash provided by operations, is expected to provide sufficient liquidity for Cineworld 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 Friday. The remainder of the DIP facility will become available following the court’s approval on a final basis.

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Summarizing, Cineworld said the approval will allow the group’s companies to, “pay vendors and suppliers in full and on normal terms for valid amounts for goods and services received during the Chapter 11 process. Employees will also continue to receive their usual wages and benefits without interruption.”
It said that Cineworld and its brands – including Regal, Cinema City, Picture House and yes Planet – are continuing to welcome moviegoers to theaters as usual, and that will not change during the Chapter 11 process. The group will continue to honor the terms of all existing customer membership programs, including Regal Unlimited and Regal Crown Club in the U.S. and Cineworld Unlimited in the U.K.
“Today’s approval of our requested ‘first day’ relief is a positive step forward for the group and our restructuring efforts,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld. “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 longstanding relationships with our business partners.”
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