Cineworld has said that its shareholders has approved a plan for the world's second-largest cinema operator to suspend its borrowing limit temporarily, giving the company much-needed breathing room to get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company, whose debt pile stood at $8.32 billion at the end of 2020, said on Monday that 98.67% of the votes cast at the general meeting held earlier in the day were in favour of the resolution.
The passing of the resolution allows the company to move ahead with an issue of £213 million ($292.73 million) in convertible bonds, which it announced last month.
Get a FREE Digital Subscription!Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
The owner of Regal Cinemas and the Cineworld venue on Dublin's Parnell Street, forced by coronavirus lockdowns to shut most of its almost 800 theatres in October and temporarily lay off approximately 45,000 staff, sunk to its first pre-tax loss as a listed company last year, after a $212.3 million profit in 2019.
A Critical Time
The approval comes at a critical time for Cineworld, as it has started reopening its theatres in the United States and is gearing up to welcome back moviegoers in the UK next month.
The industry saw huge losses last year, with the global health crisis shuttering theatres and disrupting film production in addition to accelerating a shift to online streaming platforms.
However, 2021 looks more promising, with Godzilla vs. Kong having made $69.5 million in the domestic box office so far.
The James Bond movie No Time to Die and Marvel's latest superhero film Black Widow are also set to debut in theatres this year.