Loews Cineplex reports fall

Loss widens in cash flow, revs

Loews Cineplex, currently caught in a bankruptcy court showdown between two groups vying for control of the giant circuit, Monday revealed that its annual loss broadened to $436.2 million from year-earlier red ink of $51.4 million.

Operating cash flow fell 25% to $123.5 million in the 12-month period ended Feb. 28. Operating revenue declined 3% to $903.5 million.

Loews has been closing theaters as part of its ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. But the New York-based chain’s screen count climbed to 2,926 in fiscal 2001 from a total 2,881 at the end of the previous fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Loews has asked U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Gotham to quash a series of subpoenas issued by its creditors committee that request senior Loews execs to be deposed on Friday. The motion, filed last Friday, accuses the committee of attempting to disrupt the company’s attempt to reorganize.

Loews has submitted a reorg plan in which an investment group that includes Canadian conglom Onex and Los Angeles buyout firm Oaktree Capital would convert $250 million in bank debt into an 88% Loews stake. The creditors committee wants to depose Loews execs in connection with the committee’s efforts to present the bankruptcy court with an alternate reorg plan.

(Dow Jones contributed to this report.)