Colossus theatre in Langley. (Langley Advance Times Files)

U.K. company to buy Cineplex, Canada’s largest theatre chain, for $2.8B

Cineworld says it’s the second-largest cinema business in the world, by number of screens

Cineplex Inc. shares jumped to their highest level in a year on news it has agreed to be purchased by a U.K. company in a friendly deal that values Canada’s largest chain of movie theatres at $2.8 billion, including debt.

Cineworld Group PLC has agreed to pay $34 per share in cash, a 42-per-cent premium to Friday’s closing price for Cineplex. Cineplex shares rose to that level in early trading after the Toronto Stock Exchange opened.

“Given CGX’s significant market share in Canada and historical premium to U.S. peers, we believe the elevated valuation was largely warranted and expect that CGX shareholders are likely to approve of such a transaction,” analyst Aravinda Galappatthige wrote in a research note for Canaccord Genuity.

If the deal is approved by shareholders and regulators, Cineplex will become part of a multinational company listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Cineworld says it’s the second-largest cinema business in the world, by number of screens, with operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Israel and the U.S.

“We believe this transaction today is both financially compelling and in our shareholders best interest,” said Ellis Jacob, Cineplex president and CEO, said in a statement.

“The entertainment industry continues to transform and we are pleased that through this agreement we are ensuring Cineplex is part of the next era of global entertainment.”

The companies expect the transaction to close in the first half of 2020.

READ MORE: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

However, Cineplex has seven weeks to solicit and negotiate with other potential buyers who may be willing to pay more for the company.

Cineworld would receive a termination fee under certain circumstances, including Cineplex finding another buyer with a superior offer.

Cineplex has diversified in recent years into a variety of entertainment-related businesses including advertising, events programming and the Rec Room — a chain of locations serving food, drink and amusements.

David Paddon, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Nanaimo-Ladysmith students will be going back to school full time in the fall in ‘learning groups’

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools to submit back-to-school plan to ministry in August

LMS hosts virtual Kids’ Pirate Event in late August

Kids’ Pirate Event will feature five days of online content

Milestone Equipment Contracting on the job of Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade

Project intricacies will now start to take shape in the weeks ahead

Starvation claims Great Blue Heron in Crofton

No other contributing factors found in death during a necropsy

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

Most Read