AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron said Tuesday that the nation’s largest cinema chain had raised $204 million in two weeks in December out of at least $750 million it needs to get to the other side of a global pandemic that has crippled moviegoing.
It was the latest capital raise after previous rounds of AMC stock and bonds sales in April, June and October as Covid-19 dragged on, Aron noted in an interview with CNBC.
“We’re not there yet. … We are off to a very good start,” Aron said. “But we will need to raise more capital to make it to the other side.”
Asked about potential “strategic partnerships” if the funds don’t materialize, the exec said: “That’s not in the cards, at least for now. I mean, you never say never to anything.”
He also said he’s not expecting any help from Covid-19 relief funds in the latest aid package coming from Washington, D.C.
“Our Congress certainly has done no favors for AMC Entertainment. … I think there’s a bias in Washington towards helping small business and assuming that big business will rely on self-help,” Aron added.
That’s what AMC has been doing, he said, “since theaters closed and our revenue went to zero overnight.”
AMC, the biggest global chain, also was one of the most indebted as the coronavirus hit, leaving in a dicey situation. Its stock has plunged since March, closing down 1.5% on Tuesday at $1.98. A group of bondholders have been nudging AMC to file for Chapter 11 and restructure, which it ultimately might have to do. But Aron clearly is hoping to avoid that.
AMC is majority owned by Wanda Group of China, which would see its holdings wiped out in a bankruptcy along with other shareholders.