HOLLYWOOD — Loews Cineplex, caught in a months-long bankruptcy reorg, Wednesday asked a court to approve $4.4 million in bonuses for 78 senior employees.
The New York-based circuit, with more than 2,400 screens the nation’s second largest after Regal Cinemas, said it will file a formal restructuring plan soon. But Loews also persuaded U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan to approve an extension until February of its exclusive right to hash out a reorg plan.
Canadian conglom Onex and L.A. buyout firm Oaktree Capital have agreed to partner on an $850 million restructuring of the circuit. But wrangling with creditors continues over terms of the offer.
In court filings, Loews said uncertainty “resulting from the plan process” has proved disruptive for exhib’s personnel, with 38 employees having resigned since the bankruptcy filing.
Under the proposed bonus plan, nine senior officers would get lump-sum bonuses worth almost 67% of their annual base salaries, and bonuses equal to one-third of salary would be extended to 21 officers of VP rank and higher. Forty-eight others would get bonuses capped at 25% of annual salary.
The bonuses would be contingent on staying with Loews through its reorg and the circuit’s meeting certain earnings targets. The court set an Oct. 23 hearing to consider the proposal.
(Bloomberg News contributed to this report.)