Creditors call for Vue to buy out Cineworld

Cineworld’s creditors contact rival Vue about possible sale as part of efforts to salvage business

Cineworld’s creditors have contacted its rival Vue about a possible sale as part of efforts to salvage the business.

Advisers have approached Vue and at least 30 other potential buyers since the start of December.

Cineworld filed for bankruptcy protection in the US last year. Non-binding bids for Cineworld are expected by February 16.

Writing on the wall: Cineworld filed for bankruptcy protection in the US last year

Any sale would include the Cineworld and Picturehouse chains.

The industry has been in turmoil since Covid forced venues to close for months on end.

On Thursday night, Vue said it had successfully refinanced its own business and secured £75 million in newly available funds.

An industry source said the debt restructuring had put Vue back on a firm footing and left it as one of the ‘few players in a position to invest in growth’.

But the problems facing Cineworld are far greater as it remains burdened by a £4 billion debt pile.

Any potential deal will also raise inevitable questions about the future of chief executive Mooky Greidinger, recently handed a criminal conviction by a court in Israel.

Earlier this month, Cineworld denied it held talks with Odeon owner AMC over the sale of individual sites. The UK-listed firm is understood to be focused on selling the entire business, rather than speaking with buyers about individual assets.

The company is still trading on the London Stock Exchange, but its shares have fallen by 90 per cent to less than 4p over the past year.

Vue and Cineworld declined to comment.