Cineworld’s London-listed holding company is preparing to file for administration as part of a comprehensive financial restructuring that will wipe out its shareholders.
Sky News understands that the multinational cinema operator is lining up AlixPartners to act as administrator to help effect a transfer of ownership to its lenders.
An announcement is expected to be made by the end of next week, according to one source.
Cineworld trades from 128 sites in the UK, according to a spokesman, employing thousands of people.
Its British operations will not be impacted by the insolvency process for the holding company, insiders said.
The restructuring will reduce Cineworld’s indebtedness by $4.5bn and be accompanied by an $800m rights issue to place the company on a sustainable financial footing, according to a statement in April.
Cineworld has been in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for months, a process it plans to exit shortly.
As part of its lenders’ move to take control of the business, they are recruiting a new board for the group, including a chief executive.
However, media speculation that the frontrunner for the job is David Ownby, a former executive at Regal Cinemas, is understood to be wide of the mark.
A Cineworld spokesman declined to comment.