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Cinema chain AMC raises nearly $1 bn to ward off bankruptcy

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AMC is the largest movie theater in the world but has struggled during the coronavirus pandemic./AFP
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Jan 26, 2021 - 12:48 PM

NEW YORK — US movie theater chain AMC announced Monday it had raised $917 million in funding since mid-December, allowing it to fend off bankruptcy for now as Covid-19 batters the film industry.

“This increased liquidity should allow the company to make it through this dark coronavirus-impacted winter,” the company said in a statement.

The news delighted investors, with shares soaring by up to 39 percent on the New York stock exchange. At 2:15 pm (1915 GMT), the stock was up 30 percent at $4.57.

The group raised $406 million through a share sale and $411 million in loans.

AMC had already amassed over $1 billion in cash between April and November, mostly also through equity and debt.

“This means that any talk of an imminent bankruptcy for AMC is completely off the table,” said AMC CEO Adam Aron.

AMC, the world’s largest theater operator with around 1,000 venues and 10,700 screens globally, has kept many of its theaters open in the United States despite the acceleration of the pandemic and a drop in ticket sales.

It remains deprived of the two most important markets in the country — New York and Los Angeles — where the authorities have yet to allow theaters to reopen.

AMC has yet to release its 2020 full-year financial results but posted a net loss of $3.6 billion in the first nine months of the year.

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