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

Beefs & Bouquets page helps restore Nanaimo woman’s pet memorial

Nora Crosby has painted rock returned, receives support from Nanaimo Rocks Facebook group

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP say missing 16-year-old girl has been found

RCMP had asked for help locating Trisha Harry

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Firefighters put out structure fire on Dockside Way in Nanaimo

Incident happened just after 5 p.m. in detached building close to house

Nanaimo sheep farmer voices fears over flung dog feces

Deborah Wytinck worries parasites in dog feces tossed into pasture could infect her sheep

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Nanaimo doctors asking for donations of masks and gloves during COVID-19 fight

Nanaimo Division of Family Practice co-ordinating efforts to collect supplies

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

Crucial details of Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program expected today

The government has rolled out a bailout package totalling more than $200 billion

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read