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Cineworld in talks with former Regal shareholders over payments

February 1, 2022

(Reuters) -Cineworld Group Plc said on Tuesday it had started discussions with former shareholders of its U.S. business Regal Entertainment over a potential rescheduling of the British cinema operator’s payment obligations.

The London-listed group in September said it would pay $170 million to those shareholders who were disgruntled with the price they received when the company took over the U.S. chain in 2017 and created the world’s second-largest theatre operator.

In order to facilitate the talks, Cineworld said it had obtained undertakings to waive off any default arising from non-payment of obligations due to creditors, including certain holders of the company’s guaranteed convertible bond due 2025.

Cineworld, which has also been hit by possible damages of C$1.23 billion ($969.80 million) over a botched Cineplex deal, said it was hopeful an agreement could be reached with Regal shareholders in the period afforded by the waivers.

The British company has been struggling with a debt of about $8.3 billion, while movie delays and pandemic-related curbs keeping moviegoers away from theatres have also hit demand, but it said last month that the success of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” boosted its sales.

($1 = 1.2683 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Juliette Portala and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; editing by Rashmi Aich)

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