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On Wednesday, Cineplex said the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas denied a bid by the Canadian exhibitor for relief to modify an automatic stay of proceedings around the Cineworld bankruptcy that would permit Cineplex to pursue a judgment earlier awarded in a Canadian court.
“The U.S. court did not grant Cineplex’s requested relief at this time, without prejudice to Cineplex’s ability to seek such relief at a later date,” Cineplex said in a statement. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice earlier awarded Cineplex $1.24 billion in damages after Cineworld pulled out of a $2.18 billion deal to buy the Canadian exhibition chain.
Cineworld’s U.S. bankruptcy proceedings have stopped Cineplex from so far receiving any payout on the Dec. 2021 judgement from the Canadian court against its UK rival. Because of the denial of relief from the Texas court, Cineplex will not go ahead with the next planned hearing in the Ontario court scheduled for Oct. 12 and 13.
The continued stay of proceedings in the Cineworld bankruptcy proceedings does not alter Cineplex’s claim against Cineworld, the Canadian exhibitor argued. But Cineplex added “it is not possible…to predict the timing or final outcome of Cineplex’s judgment against Cineworld, or whether Cineworld will have the ability to satisfy Cineplex’s claim. Cineplex will continue to explore all avenues and forms of consideration to satisfy its judgment.”
On Wednesday, Cineplex also offered no comment when asked about a report in The Wall Street Journal that indicated the Canadian exhibitor has approached Cineworld’s lenders about a potential merger with Regal Entertainment Group.
Cineplex reportedly proposed taking over Regal in exchange for debt and stock underpinned by the merged businesses.
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