AMC CEO flags possible equity raise

AMC Entertainment shares plunged more than 20% in early trading Wednesday after its CEO told Reuters the cinema operator may need to raise more capital entirely or mostly through equity to get through the coronavirus crisis.

CEO Adam Aron didn’t say how much money the company was looking to raise. Wednesday's plunge comes atop Tuesday's 13% drop when the company disclosed it could run out of cash by year end or the start of 2021.

The world’s largest theater chain is struggling with attendance, which has plummeted 95% on-year since they reopened after lockdowns were eased. Delayed theatrical releases by the major studios are also hammering theater operators.

Bloomberg had earlier reported that the company was considering options that included filing for bankruptcy protection, but Aron said that was “false” and “completely inaccurate.” He said there is “no Plan B under consideration.”

Shares of the world’s second largest cinema operator, Cineworld, also fell Wednesday after the British daily, The Telegraph, reported that it could run out of cash by the end of November. Unlike AMC, which plans to keep most of its theaters in the U.S. and Europe open, the operator of Regal Cinemas and Picturehouse is temporarily closing all of its screens in the U.S. and Britain.