Facing the prospect of staying shut for several more months due to the coronavirus pandemic, embattled exhibitor AMC Entertainment has unveiled plans to raise $500 million in new debt to improve its balance sheet.
The funds from the senior notes offering, which will have to be repaid in 2025, should be enough to keep the company going until the middle of the summer, AMC said in a filing Thursday.
“Due to significant actions taken by the company, we believe our current cash balance is sufficient to withstand a global suspension of operations until a partial reopening in July,” AMC said. “After giving effect to the proposed notes offering, we believe the company will have sufficient liquidity to withstand a global suspension of operations until a partial reopening ahead of Thanksgiving.”
AMC’s stock was up 37% to $3.35 a share in after hours trading Thursday as investors reacted to news of the offering and the White House announcing specifics of plans to re-open movie theaters.
AMC said the pandemic has had, and is likely to continue to have, a “severe and unprecedented” impact on the world and warned that the closures may extend past June.
“During this period, the company is generating effectively no revenue. The company will review prior to the end of June 2020, in conjunction with the potential lifting of various government operating restrictions, whether it should extend such suspension with respect to some or all of our theaters. There is no guarantee however, that any such government-imposed restrictions may be lifted, and such restrictions may be further extended beyond June 2020.”
AMC also disclosed that as of March 31, it had $299.8 million in cash on hand, including borrowings of $215.0 million drawn from a revolving line of credit facility, and another £89.2 million ($111.4 million) tapped from another revolving credit facility for Odeon Cinemas in the U.K.
Analysts believe that the chain may also be on the brink of filing for bankruptcy. The likelihood of a bankruptcy reorganization doesn’t mean that AMC’s 634 locations in the U.S. and Canada — and more than 1,000 venues worldwide — will be closing their doors for good.
Wall Street analysts last week downgraded the company’s stock from “neutral” to “sell,” signaling that the value of the nation’s largest theater chain is expected to diminish in coming months as there’s no clear path forward for multiplexes desperate to reopen.