Judge in Cineplex case cites inconsistencies in testimony, texts from Cineworld execs


Published December 15, 2021 at 10:50 am

TORONTO — The Ontario judge who ruled in Cineplex Inc.’s favour in a case against its former suitor Cineworld Group PLC found instances where testimony from the U.K. theatre giant’s executives was contradicted by their text messages and other internal documents, according to her ruling.

Judge Barbara Conway says in a decision that Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger, his brother Israel Greidinger and chief financial officer Nisan Cohen testified that they had intended to close the Cineplex deal up until they accused Cineplex of alleged breaches last summer.

However, Conway says their communication “paints a very different picture” of executives who were long plotting to call off the takeover.

Conway says evidence she saw showed that Cineworld was already considering its options in mid-March and by the third week of April, had no intention of proceeding with the deal if still priced at the agreed upon $34 per share.

The deal wound up in court after Cineworld walked away from the takeover in June 2020, alleging material adverse effects and breaches by Cineplex. Cineplex said it was a case of “buyer’s remorse” and sued for more than $2.18 billion in damages.

Conway found Cineplex was not guilty of the alleged breaches and awarded the company damages of $1.24 billion, though Cineworld has since vowed to appeal the decision.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2021.

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