South African Cinema Group Ster-Kinekor Exits 'Business Rescue' Process

South African cinema group Ster-Kinekor has exited a local form of bankruptcy protection called "business rescue" after nearly two years, its administrator said on Friday, Reuters reported. Ster-Kinekor was placed under administration in January 2021, citing losses and financial distress due to COVID-19 and related restrictions forcing closures and prohibiting large gatherings in public spaces. Meanwhile studios either postponed blockbusters or released them directly on home streaming platforms, denting box office earnings. Its business rescue practitioner, Stefan Smyth, said in a statement the rescue process, which returns the company to solvency, involved raising capital of 250 million rand ($14.50 million) from U.K.-based asset-manager Blantyre Capital and from South African asset-manager Greenpoint Capital. Ster-Kinekor, which operates 52 commercial cinema complexes in South Africa, also renegotiated lease agreements with landlords, which were a material condition for the conclusion of the transaction. "Not only does this investment give the business a solid foundation on which to build its future, it has also meant that some 800 jobs have been retained and a dividend has been paid to creditors as proposed in the accepted plan," Smyth said. Read more.