Court Sides with Cineplex in Cineworld Acquisition Dispute

Image Courtesy of Cineplex Cinemas

Cineplex has won a CA$1.24 billion judgment against Cineworld, stemming from a 2020 lawsuit related to Cineworld’s one-time planned acquisition of the Canadian chain.

Cineworld, which operates in the U.S. as Regal, signed an agreement to acquire Cineplex in December of 2019. The deal, had it gone through, would have pushed Cineworld’s screen count past that of AMC to become the world’s largest exhibitor. Citing “certain breaches” to the acquisition agreement allegedly made by Cineplex, Cineworld dropped the acquisition in June of 2020, as the global cinema industry remained largely shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In response, Cineplex averred that Cineworld had “breached its contractual obligations” in backing out of the acquisition and shortly thereafter initiated court proceedings against the other chain.

This week, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice came to a decision in the legal dispute between the two exhibitors, ruling in favor of Cineplex and ordering that Cineworld pay them CA$1.24 billion in damages. Cineworld, in a statement, says that it disagrees with the court’s judgement and plans to appeal, adding that they [do] not expect damages to be payable whilst any appeal is ongoing.”

Said Cineplex President and CEO Ellis Jacob in a statement: “We are pleased that the Court found Cineplex acted properly throughout this difficult period in our history. With roots that go back over 100 years, we are proud of the relationships we have maintained through this process and remain steadfastly committed to our guests, shareholders and team across Canada and the United States.”

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