AMC Entertainment, the nation’s largest exhibitor, took a moment away from its throwdown with Universal on Wednesday to say it’s delaying some key financial reports due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic that has shuttered its theaters worldwide.
The company said via an SEC filing that it will delay filing its first-quarter results and its proxy until June.
The SEC has relaxed some filing restrictions for public companies given challenges in collecting data and putting numbers together in an environment where businesses are shut and employees are working from home. The theater chain is the first major entertainment group so far to announce it’s using the leeway.
“COVID-19 has created substantial disruption in the Company’s operations including the suspension of all theatre operations worldwide resulting in the cessation of essentially all revenues. As a result, all corporate-level employees have been either fully or partially furloughed, significantly limiting the resources available to prepare the Delayed Filings. Furthermore, to the extent corporate-level employees continue to work, they are required to do so from their homes due to local governmental orders which has decreased efficiency in fulfilling the tasks necessary to complete the Delayed Filings,” the company said.
It expects to file the proxy statement by June 15 and earnings for the quarter ended in March by June 24. It has scheduled its annual meeting of shareholders for July 29.
AMC has 630 U.S. locations shuttered in mid-March as the coronavirus outbreak grew. When they will re-open remains a question mark. The world’s largest exhibition circuit is saddled with $4.9 billion in debt and as of earlier this month was valued at $327.3M. Distribution and rival exhibition sources wouldn’t be shocked if AMC files for Chapter 11 in the near future; if so it likely still would be able to re-open under Chapter 11 as studios and distributors are likely to be deemed by a bankruptcy court as critical vendors.
AMC has already furloughed 25,000 employees and instituted a reduced pay program for general theater managers and made pay/employee cuts at its corporate headquarters.
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