(Bloomberg) -- Key Cineworld Group Plc lenders are considering a rights offering for the world’s second-largest theater chain to help it emerge from bankruptcy, according to people familiar with the matter.

Some creditors have recently discussed a share sale that could raise $800 million — open only to existing lenders — for Cineworld as part of a restructuring plan, the people said, asking not to be named because the talks are private. The final size of any issuance depends on creditor appetite and how much debt the restructured company is deemed able to carry following its bankruptcy, the people said. 

Discussions are ongoing and no final decisions have been reached, they added. The restructured business could be valued at about $4 billion including debt, one person said. 

London-based Cineworld filed for Chapter 11 protection in Texas in September, after Covid-19 shutdowns hampered income and delayed movie releases, forcing it to reckon with a heavy debt load. The chain’s nearly $9 billion of liabilities including leases came in large part from its blockbuster acquisition of US brand Regal Cinemas in 2018.

Representatives for Cineworld declined to comment. 

In a bankruptcy hearing Wednesday, a lawyer for Cineworld said the company recently received a proposal from lenders, but didn’t disclose precise terms and added that the company, rather than its lenders, gets to chart its path out of Chapter 11 protection. Cineworld has recently received “a lot of interest” in its assets from potential buyers, the lawyer, Josh Sussberg, said. 

As of Jan. 5, major Cineworld lenders included Blackstone Alternative Credit Advisors LP, Invesco Senior Secured Management Inc., Sixth Street Partners LLC and Blantyre Capital Ltd, according to a bankruptcy court filing.

The bankruptcy is Cineworld Group plc and Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, 22-90168, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston).

--With assistance from Irene García Pérez, Thomas Buckley and Amelia Pollard.

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