Cineworld Canadian court battle heats up with new counter-claim

28 January 2022, 07:34

Cineworld financials. Picture: PA

The UK-listed chain is appealing a £720 million payout awarded in court last month.

A court battle between Cineworld and a Canadian rival has heated up with the latter submitting a new claim over compensation.

Cineplex has filed a cross-appeal to Cineworld’s own appeal against a court ruling in December that stated the UK-listed chain must pay out 1.23 billion Canadian dollars (£720 million).

Cineworld attempted a takeover of the Canadian chain prior to the pandemic but pulled out once the sector’s future was plunged into doubt due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice order the payout after Cineplex claimed Cineworld breached its obligations under the agreement.

The matter is now with the Ontario Court of Appeal and Cineworld stated it believes the cross-appeal by Cineplex “suggests it should be awarded alternative forms damages” if the level of damages is ruled as too high.

The company added: “As previously noted, Cineworld disagrees with the decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and it also disagrees with the submissions of Cineplex in its cross-appeal.

“Cineworld shall respond to the cross-appeal as part of the appeal process. Cineworld does not expect damages to be payable whilst any appeal is ongoing.”

The initial court ruling saw Cineworld shares plunge nearly 30% at points, but no cash has been paid out whilst both sides await the next step of the court process.

By Press Association