Cineworld (LON: CINE) is set to shut all of its cinemas across the UK and Ireland which could see the slashing of 5,500 jobs.
According to The Sunday times, Cineworld could announce the move as early as Monday which will result in 128 cinemas in the UK and Ireland being closed. It is also believed that it will be shutting all 543 of its Regal cinema outlets in the US according to Variety.
The majority of staff are expected to be made redundant with the option to rejoin the firm next year should viewings show a sustainable uptick.
The cinema chain has reportedly penned a letter to Boris Johnson and Oliver Dowden claiming that the industry is now ‘unviable’ due to the constant delay of blockbuster releases.
James Bond’s ‘No Time to Die’ is believed to have been the last straw for Cineworld as it was delayed once again, this time until April 2021.
Movie producers have opted to delay releases following limited audiences at cinemas due to the pandemic.
Shares in CINE have have suffered a steep fall so far this year – starting the year at 220p, the share price of CINE stands at under 40p having fallen again following a second COVID-19 wave.
The company has also been the speculation of takeover rumours following its rapid fall in m. capitalisation and is currently the most shorted share in the UK.
These takeover rumours are likely to generate in intensity as the cinema operator’s share price is likely to take another dive.