Cineworld to close a quarter of its cinemas in the UK

Cineworld is planning to shut around a quarter of its UK cinemas in its latest restructuring, according to reports.

The cinema chain, which currently runs around 100 sites across the country, is expected to launch closures as part of a formal restructuring plan.

The firm runs Cineworld cinemas in Warrington and Broughton - as well as cinemas in Liverpool, Didbsury and Stoke-on-Trent that Cheshire residents might be familiar with. It also runs the Picturehouse cinema in Chester.

Sky News reported that the group, which was taken private last year, will also seek renegotiated rents on around 50 other cinemas, with the remaining roughly 25 sites untouched by the process. Cineworld has been contacted for comment.

The group, which also runs the Picturehouse chain, is among cinema firms to have been knocked by the growth of streaming services, delays to releases following actor and writer strikes, and the increased cost-of-living for customers.

Sky reported that the restructuring proposals were expected to be formally outlined to creditors including landlords in the coming weeks.

It is understood that financial services firm AlixPartners is acting as an adviser during the process.

The group was listed on the London Stock Exchange until last year, when it was taken over by investors and hedge funds after it had been hamstrung by its multibillion-pound debt pile.

The investors exchanged billions of pounds worth of debt for equity in the business, after the group also filed for bankruptcy protection in the US.

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