Cinema operator Cineworld said today it had secured a $250m debt facility from a group of private institutional investors as it gears up to reopen cinemas following the easing of coronavirus-led lockdowns globally.
The move comes after the company abandoned its $1.65 billion take over of Canada's Cineplex earlier this month, a deal that had raised concerns about Cineworld's growing debt pile, which stands at $3.5 billion.
Cineworld, which expects to reopen in the US and the UK on July 10, said the new facility, along with covenant amendments and a $110m increase in revolving credit facility, helped add more strength to its balance sheet.
The Regal cinema owner operates about 9,500 screens globally, with more than 7,000 in the US.
As part of its reopening plan, the company said last week that it would put in place additional cleaning and social distancing measures to try to reassure film fans before high-profile summer releases including director Christopher Nolan's thriller "Tenet" and Walt Disney Co's action epic "Mulan".
The world's largest movie theater operator AMC Entertainment Holdings plans to reopen 450 theaters in the US on July 15, and the remaining 150 cinemas in the country in time for the opening of "Mulan" on July 24 and Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" on July 31.
Cineworld, which closed its cinemas globally three months ago, said in April it was suspending its dividend and that executive directors were deferring their salaries in an attempt to save costs.
It has also secured credit committee approval to apply for an extra $45m through a coronavirus borrowing scheme in the UK in May and is looking to access $25m through the US government CARES Act.