AMC seeks stock sale to raise $50 million to stave off bankruptcy

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A person wears a protective face outside the AMC 34th Street 14 movie theater as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on July 31, 2020 in New York City.
Noam Galai | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

AMC, starved for cash, is looking to sell up to 20 million class A shares to secure nearly $50 million in new capital, according to an SEC filing published Monday.

Shares of the company — the world’s largest cinema chain — fell nearly 7% in early trading Monday. The company is set to report quarterly earnings Monday afternoon.

The filing is just the latest fundraising attempt by AMC. Like others in the industry, the company has been slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. First it was forced to shutter hundreds of theaters, and then after reopening, saw customers stay home and major Hollywood blockbusters delay their openings.

Last month, AMC warned investors that its dwindling cash pile could push it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Heading into the pandemic, AMC already had $4.75 billion in debt, which it amassed from outfitting its theaters with luxury seating and from buying competitors like Carmike and Odeon.

The cinema chain has been focused on fundraising for months. It has already renegotiated its debt to improve its balance sheet this year and has been exploring a variety of ways to boost its liquidity.

At a maximum offering price of $2.39 each, selling 20 million shares would raise $47.7 million for AMC.

The company needs to hold on long enough for new content to arrive in theaters. The next big feature is “The Croods: A New Age” which is slated for Thanksgiving. Theater chains are holding out hope that “Free Guy” and “Wonder Woman 1984” hold their December release plans. Without these new films moviegoers won’t venture away from their couches.

AMC and other theaters have been hemorrhaging money in order to stay afloat. Last month, AMC released a preliminary earnings report that said the company had earned around $119.5 million in revenue during the three-month period ended Sept. 30. That’s a steep fall from the $1.32 billion gain AMC tallied during the same period last year.

For the first nine months of 2020, AMC said it took in revenue of $1.08 billion, a fraction of the $4.02 billion a year earlier.

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