Cinema Parku has softened credit conditions

The court fully satisfied the first of four claims against the Trust Bank on restructuring the debt of the united cinema network of Alexander Mamut. Cinema Park demanded to lower the loan rate from 7.5% to 1% and extend the loan term from 2023 to 2027, because due to the decline of this business during the pandemic, cinemas could not service the debt on the same terms. “Trust”, which filed counterclaims against the structures of Alexander Mamut, intends to appeal the decision.

On June 7, the Moscow Arbitration Court satisfied Cinema Park’s claims against Trust Bank in full, a representative of Cinema Park told Kommersant. Cinema Park opened a credit line in Trust for 2.6 billion rubles, because of the pandemic it was unable to service it, but Trust did not want to restructure the debt, it is indicated in the claim (Kommersant has it). Then the cinema network demanded through the court to exempt it from interest from March to August 2020, when the cinemas were closed, and from August 2020 – to reduce the rate from 7.5% to 1%, and interest must be paid simultaneously with the loan repayment. “We will fully appeal the court decision,” said Anna Mikheeva, a representative of the Trust.

Cinema Park and Formula Kino are the country’s largest unified cinema chain. It is credited by the Trust Bank under four agreements. They were concluded in 2017; total debt – 19.27 billion rubles. Cinema Park is also challenging the terms of three other credit lines in court, and no decisions have been made on them.

Cinemas are one of the industries most affected by the coronavirus, they were closed or restricted in operation for most of 2020, and the repertoire was practically not updated, emphasizes the representative of the joint cinema network Cinema Park and Formula Kino. “In this situation, the Trust Bank tried to virtually bankrupt the film network, writing off all New Year’s proceeds immediately after the end of the government moratorium, refusing to go to the reasonable debt restructuring proposed by the Ministry of Finance and us, demanding immediate repayment of the entire amount of debt on all loans,” says a spokesman for the film network.

The court took into account the impact of the pandemic on the cinema business – the restrictions associated with it are a significant change in the circumstances of the loan agreement, which the parties could not foresee, the cinema network notes.

After the opening of cinemas, the business began to recover, but gradually: in March 2021, the audience was 15% less than in March 2019, according to the lawsuit documents. In the first quarter, the cinema network received a net profit for the first time since the pandemic, but its size does not allow paying 7.5% on the loan: taking into account all debts serviced by the plaintiff’s cinemas, 1.39 billion rubles are accumulated per year. percent, indicated in the claim.

In April, the court dismissed a similar claim for restructuring the debt of another company of Alexander Mamut – Vanderkind (develops a chain of children’s stores Hamleys under a franchise). Vanderkind also announced the limitations associated with the pandemic. In May, Trust filed a claim for Vanderkind’s obligations, the amount of claims amounted to 2.6 billion rubles. As a representative of Trust previously told Kommersant, the total debt of Alexander Mamut to this bank is 23 billion rubles.

A change based on a court decision in a loan rate of up to 1% per annum can be considered an extraordinary phenomenon, says Nikolai Titov, a lawyer and co-founder of the law firm atLegal: “Courts make changes to such agreements only in exceptional cases.” Olga Savina, managing partner of Savina Legal, agrees that both banks and courts in such situations rarely change the terms of loans to entrepreneurs. “It is necessary to prove a complex set of circumstances. For example, during the 2014 crisis, the risk of an increase in the exchange rate was not recognized as a basis for changing the terms of the agreement. ” But the closure of cinemas in lockdown really could not have been foreseen at the conclusion of the loan agreement, so the court’s decision will remain in force, Ms. Savina suggests.

Anna Afanasyeva