The Vue cinema chain is on the verge of securing an additional £100 million ($131.2 million) in debt financing, in order to stave off the impact of the coronavirus crisis, according to a report by Sky News.
Variety reached out to Vue for confirmation, but the company declined to comment.
In June 2019, Vue successfully refinanced its debt worth £813 million ($1.06 billion) that will now mature in 2026. The company had also then secured £65 million ($85 million) in revolving credit.
Vue is the third largest cinema chain in the lucrative U.K. and Ireland theatrical market with 870 screens across 91 sites. It is one of the largest multiplex groups in the world, operating 2,400 screens across 280 sites in 10 countries. Like the other cinema groups, Vue has been hard hit since cinemas shuttered around the world due to COVID-19.
The Vue chain is reopening across the U.K. and Ireland in stages, and all but two cinemas that are being refurbished will reopen by Aug. 26, when Warner Bros. releases “Tenet,” directed by Christopher Nolan. Like their competitors, Vue is pinning hopes on saturation screenings of the film to kick start what has been an almost non-existent summer at the box office so far. Ticket sales have been brisk.
In February this year, before the pandemic swept the world, Vue International posted robust financial results for 2019, reporting its highest ever full-year revenues of £854 million ($1.12 billion), 5.4% ahead of 2018. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were £139.6 million ($183 million). Growth was primarily driven by enhanced admissions in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.