Cinema group Ster-Kinekor has exited business rescue after nearly two years, its administrator.

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 R250-million from UK-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.

Smyth noted that cinema attendance is picking up since the “stellar” performance of Top Gun: Maverick and the attendance is expected to continue to improve further into the holiday season with eagerly awaited additional films being released like Avatar: Reuters