Cineworld Raising Fresh Liquidity as Losses for 2020 Revealed
The Cineworld Group cinema exhibition group is to raise an additional $213 million of liquidity as a cushion against further coronavirus disruption.
The new funding, being raised through the issue of a convertible bond due in 2025, was announced on Thursday after the company revealed EBITDA losses of $115 million.
With all sites temporarily closed from March 2020, group revenue fell to $852 million from $4.3 billion in 2019. Operating losses reached $2.2 billion, compared to a profit of $725 million in 2019, which was impacted by asset impairments of $1.3 billion.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) showed a loss of $115.1 million, compared to the $1.5 billion profit in 2019.
The new funding is in addition to the $811 million of liquidity raised during the reporting period, including the issuance of equity warrants.
The proceeds of the new bond issue are intended to provide further liquidity in the event of continued disruption to cinema operations. The group is also counting on cash from the U.S. CARES Act tax refund. These will “provide the group with a liquidity runway to year-end in the event that cinemas remain closed,” Cineworld said in a filing.
The bond will carry a coupon of 7.5% per annum and will be convertible into Cineworld ordinary shares. The initial conversion price has been set at $1.7620 per share (which equates to £1.2850 per share) representing a premium of 25% above Wednesday’s closing price.
“The bond announced today provides the group with a significant liquidity buffer as we reopen across the world,” said Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger. “We remain confident about the next chapter of our development.”
The group says it anticipates a strong 2021 with cinemas in the U.S. due to reopen from Apr. 2 and is counting on pent up demand from customers.
Alicja Kornasiewicz, chair of Cineworld Group plc, said: “The group has demonstrated resilience through what has been a very difficult year and I am extremely proud of the commitment our colleagues have shown during these exceptional times. Despite the significant challenges that COVID-19 continues to present, we look forward to reopening cinemas worldwide and welcoming our guests.”
Greidinger said: “For all of us across the world, this has been an incredibly challenging year. COVID-19 has created a huge amount of stress and uncertainty, both in business and in our personal lives. At Cineworld, I never imagined a time that we would see the closure of our entire cinema estate, nor that varying restrictions would remain in place for so long as we continue to navigate our way through this crisis. I am immensely proud and inspired by the response of our people to these very difficult circumstances. We have worked hard to strengthen the long-term prospects of the business and, looking forward, Cineworld enters 2021 confident about the next chapter in our development; not least the intention to reopen our cinemas starting April 2nd.”
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