Cinema chain Vue International has completed its recapitalization process and now has access to £75 million ($92 million) of additional liquidity.
The liquidity will provide the chain with “a robust capital structure to support long-term, sustainable growth,” Vue said in a statement.
The recapitalization process was approved by lenders last year. As Variety reported in July 2022, Vue has signed an agreement for its first-lien lenders to take 100% equity ownership of the business. The new backers are believed to be financial investors and lenders as opposed to banks or private equity.
Vue said that the fully consensual transaction was agreed with all stakeholders and was implemented contractually and that there was a debt-for-equity swap with approximately £470 million of existing debt removed from the balance sheet. The transaction converted existing first-lien debt to new first-lien debt with extended maturity and extinguished second-lien debt.
Tim Richards, founder and CEO of Vue International, said: “COVID interrupted our strongest ever period of trading but our business continues to recover post-pandemic. Over the past two years we have seen two of the top four biggest films in U.K. history: Bond ‘No Time To Die’ and ‘Spider-Man No Way Home,’ in addition to box office record breakers: ‘Top Gun Maverick,’ ‘Matilda’ and – most recently – ‘Avatar 2.’
“Given the huge pent up demand we’re seeing for the cinema experience, and with lots more fantastic films set for theatrical release later this year, we are at a pivotal moment for the industry,” Richards added. “Alongside the recent appointment of Stella David to the position of non-executive chair, the completion of our recapitalization means that Vue is now strongly-positioned to invest in the business and accelerate growth.”
Vue International, which is the largest privately owned cinema operator in Europe, operates 1990 screens across 227 sites in nine countries.