AMC Entertainment shares jumped as much as 21% after the close of regular trading on Tuesday following a story in the WSJ that the movie theater company is nearing a deal to avoid near-term bankruptcy. The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said AMC is working on a restructuring deal, led by Silver Lake, that would have bondholders provide a $200 million loan, swapping out “their unsecured claims at a discount.” AMC would take that route over a financing offer from Apollo Global and other lenders, the Journal reported.

As of Tuesday’s, close, AMC had lost 40% of its value this year. The company has been battered by the coronavirus, which has forced movie theaters across the country to close in March. AMC says it will begin reopening theaters in waves on July 30, about two weeks later than it previously expected. Even with theaters opening up for the first time in months, there’s no guarantee that consumers will rush to be indoors surrounded by others.

The company had hoped to get junior bond holders to exchange their claims at a close to 50% discount for new second-priority securities. As of June 30, less than 8% of the company’s outstanding $2.3 billion of junior bonds had been swapped, prompting AMC to entertain new offers from various creditor groups, people familiar with the matter said.

The financing proposals were designed to keep the company afloat through the planned reopening of its theaters around the country, while putting the creditors that participate in a better position if AMC does end up filing for chapter 11 protection. AMC is postponing plans to reopen the bulk of its U.S. locations until July 30, following date changes for the releases of two major films, the live-action remake of “Mulan” and science-fiction thriller “Tenet.”

States across the U.S. have been reopening parts of their economies, such as restaurants, retail stores and other public commercial spaces. But movie theaters have largely stayed shut because of the challenges of packing large numbers of people into indoor auditoriums. Smaller, independent theaters have reopened in some states, showing older films to a limited number of moviegoers. But the three biggest chains—AMC, Cineworld Group PLC’s Regal Entertainment Group and Cinemark Holdings Inc.—have decided to stay closed until they have new movies to show.

Todd Horwitz Chief Strategist BubbaTrading.com
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