Britain's Cineworld hit by appeal in Cineplex legal battle

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: A Cineplex movie theatre sign looms over Yonge street in Toronto

(Reuters) - Cineworld Group said on Friday Canada's Cineplex Inc filed an appeal against its plea challenging an order the British cinema operator pay C$1.23 billion ($965.92 million) in damages to Cineplex for abandoning a planned takeover.

The London-listed company said it disagreed with the submissions made by Cineplex in its cross-appeal and will respond to it, adding Cineworld does not expect to pay any damages while the appeals are ongoing.

In December, a Canadian court ordered Cineworld, the world's second-largest cinema operator, to pay the damages after the British firm walked away from a $1.65 billion deal in mid-2020, citing breaches in the merger agreement by Cineplex.

Cineplex rejected the claims and accused Cineworld of avoiding its obligations under the agreement in light of the pandemic's impact on the industry.

Some analysts at that time said the fine was bigger than Cineworld's available resources.

Cineworld, which operates Regal Cinemas in the United States, has been struggling with debt of about $8.3 billion and has mooted listing itself or a part of its business in the U.S. where it generates the bulk of its revenue.

($1 = 1.2734 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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