Cineworld pays $100m to lawyers and bankers in an unfortunate survival battle

The second-largest cinema operator in the world is looking for a rescue plan.

Telegraph analysis shows that Cineworld paid more than $100m (£85m), in fees to lawyers and bankers over the past two years in a feigned struggle for survival.

The multiplex chain is now at the edge of bankruptcy and scrambled for a string of debt deals during the pandemic lockdowns that forced it to close.

Cineworld reported that it paid $9.1m last year in advisory fees to create new debt agreements and $46.5m in refinancing “amendment fees”.

Cineworld hired bankers and lawyers to help it restructure its debt agreements that were previously made at the height of Covid restrictions. These deals had been subject to severe conditions.

It spent $46.6m on legal fees and advisor fees in 2020 to establish new debt facilities. This brought the total to $102m for 2020 and 2021. Cineworld suffered a loss of $3bn in 2020 and a loss of $708m the following year.

Cineworld declined to comment to discuss the fees paid to AlixPartners and PJT Partners as well as lawyers Kirkland & Ellis.

The company’s numerous refinancing attempts have not prevented a crisis. The second-largest cinema operator in the world confirmed that it is considering options for a rescue plan, including filing a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in the US.

After nearly $4.9bn of debt, the company is now preparing to seek creditor protection. It is believed that it has retained US law firm Kirkland & Ellis and AlixPartners to assist.

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