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Cineworld looks for fresh start amid plan to exit US bankruptcy in July

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Cineworld has said it expects to exit bankruptcy protection in July as the troubled cinema group secured further backing from lenders for its restructuring plan.The update from the world’s second-largest cinema chain, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, comes months after it filed for bankruptcy protection in the US in the autumn as it struggled with a ballooning $5bn (£4bn) debt pile and low audience numbers.The company – which filed for the protection order to give itself time to reorganise its debts and assets – said it had struck a deal with lenders controlling nearly all of its revolving credit facilities, and 69% of its outstanding debts, meaning it can move forward with a restructuring plan, and in effect have a fresh start, later this summer.It said in a statement on Thursday morning that Cineworld and its affected subsidiaries “expect to emerge from the Chapter 11 cases in July 2023”.Cineworld, which runs about 750 sites globally, confirmed last month it had abandoned attempts to try to sell its US, UK and Irish businesses after itfailed to receive any acceptable offers.

It also plans to raise about$2.3bn in new funding in lieu of the sale.The chain also confirmed that the restructuring plan would still result in all shareholders being wiped out, in further pain for equity investors who have seen its stock plunge almost 99% over the past five years.

Cineworld was hit particularly hard by Covid pandemic restrictions, which led to the enforced closure of its cinema sites.Sign up to Business TodayGet set for the working day – we'll point you to all the business news and analysis you need every morningafter newsletter promotionCineworld said on Thursday that its cinemas would continue to operate as it

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