Owner of Regal Cinemas Says Bankruptcy Filing Is Possible

Cineworld, the owner of major movie theater chain Regal Cinemas, is on the cusp of bankruptcy, according to multiple reports.

The London-based parent company confirmed to BBC News that it is considering bankruptcy and is asking attorneys from Kirkland & Ellis LLP and consultants from AlixPartners, for guidance on next steps, according to regal-cinemas-owner-cineworld-prepares-for-bankruptcy-filing-11660910944″ data-component=”link” data-source=”inlineLink” data-type=”externalLink” data-ordinal=”2″>The Wall Street Journal.

Cineworld has amassed $4.8 billion in debt, according to WSJ, and it operates more than 751 locations around the world. Its U.S. subsidiary, Regal, currently has 505 theaters in 42 states, along with American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam and Saipan as of April, according to the company’s website.

The news comes nearly two years after Regal and other cinemas were forced to temporarily shut down its theaters in October 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cineworld claimed ticket sales have been lower than anticipated and a short supply of blockbuster films this fall is also prompting the move, according to CNN Business, which got a statement from the company that operations would still be “business as usual” for its Regal locations.

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“Cineworld would expect to maintain its operations in the ordinary course until and following any filing and ultimately to continue its business over the longer term with no significant impact upon its employees,” read the statement.

Spokespersons for Cineworld and Regal did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.

Competitor AMC Theatres has been similarly affected by the world events but individual investors have helped the company raise more than $2.2 billion in equity, WSJ reported. Nonetheless, AMC stocks also dipped after the Regal news made headlines.

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