Cineworld Group, the owner of Regal Cinemas, has announced that it has decided to abandon plans to sell its operations outside the US, UK and Ireland.
The company said on Tuesday it had received proposals for the rest of the world, including cinema chains in Eastern Europe and Israel, from a number of potential bidders, but the bids fell short of the level of value required by Cineworld’s backers.
The world’s second-largest movie theater chain is in the midst of a plan to emerge from bankruptcy after filing for Chapter 11 protection in September. Last week, Cineworld unveiled a reorganization plan to reduce the company’s debt by about $4.53 billion.
Like many cinema operators, London-based Cineworld was hit hard by pandemic-enforced theater closures, the slow return of audiences and also the initial lack of Hollywood products to screen as lockdown measures eased. However, the control environment in 2023 has improved somewhat, aided greatly by bona fide blockbusters such as Avatar: The Way of Water, The Super Mario Bros. Movie and John Wick: Chapter 4.
Cineworld said it continues to expect to emerge from Chapter 11 protection in the first half of 2023.