Cineplex seeking alternative damages, if Appeal Court rules in Cineworld’s favour

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Published January 28, 2022 at 11:01 am

TORONTO — Cineplex Inc. has filed a cross appeal asking for alternative damages, if a court overturns a ruling that forced the theatre company’s once-suitor Cineworld Group PLC to pay $1.24 billion.

In documents filed with the Ontario Court of Appeal, Cineplex argues it should be awarded more than $2.1 billion in damages because of its diminished value and loss of performance.

Cineworld says in a statement that it does not agree with the cross appeal, but will respond to it and not pay any damages while the matter is ongoing.

Cineplex’s filing was made in response to an appeal Cineworld made earlier this month that claimed Judge Barbara Conway made “extricable legal errors,” when she ruled in Cineplex’s favour in December.

The case Conway presided over stemmed from Cineworld’s June 2020 decision to terminate its $2.18-billion deal to buy Cineplex.

Cineworld argued it was free to drop the deal because Cineplex deferred its accounts payable by at least 60 days, reduced spending to the “bare minimum” and stopped paying landlords, movie studios, film distributors and suppliers at the start of the pandemic.

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Cineplex said the moves were part of a normal course of business for theatre companies during a pandemic and did not damage its reputation with landlords and studios.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 28, 2022.

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The Canadian Press

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