Redbox owner Chicken Soup for the Soul files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK — Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, the parent of DVD rental operator Redbox, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The bankruptcy filing comes after months of a series of financial struggles for the company and piling unpaid bills. Chicken Soup for the Soul has accumulated nearly $1 billion in debt, the Chapter 11 filing submitted Friday in Delaware bankruptcy court shows, after reporting loss after loss over recent quarters.

The filing also discloses that Chicken Soup for the Soul owes millions to over 500 creditors — which range from big names in the entertainment world like Sony Pictures and Warner Bros, to major retailers like Walgreens and Walmart.

As of March of this year, Friday’s filing shows, Chicken Soup for the Soul had about $414 million in assets and $970 million in debts. Shares for the public company have fallen more than 90% over the last year.

Connecticut-based Chicken Soup for the Soul declined to comment when reached by The Associated Press Monday. In court documents, the company said that its lenders were unwilling to cooperate with refinancing.

Chicken Soup for the Soul acquired Redbox in 2022. At the time, the company billed the merger as the start of an entertainment conglomerate set to reach consumers across mediums and boost revenue, but losses continued to pile up. The acquisition also included the assumption Redbox’s reported $325 million in debt.

Redbox, founded in 2002, is best known for red-colored, self-serve machines that sit outside of pharmacies or groceries stores to rent or sell DVDs. In Friday’s filing, Chicken Soup for the Soul noted that it currently operates about 27,000 kiosks across the U.S. — down from 36,000 at the Redbox acquisition was finalized in August 2022.

Chicken Soup for the Soul also operates ad-supported streaming and video on-demand offerings. That includes Redbox Live TV and Crackle, a streamer that Chicken Soup for the Soul acquired from Sony.

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