Imax Eyes More South American Screens After Restructuring Racimec Deal

The giant screen exhibitor said it has removed an obstacle to faster growth in Latin America by renegotiating its master license agreement with the Brazil-based lottery operator.

TORONTO – Imax Corp. has restructured its agreement with the Racimec International Group, which until now has been a drag on its expansion in South America.

Toronto-based Imax said it renegotiated its master license agreement with Giencourt Investments S.A., a part of Racimec, a Brazil-based lottery operator, to accelerate the roll-out of Imax theaters across the region.

Imax will become more involved in theater system sales and support, while Racimec offers varied deal structures, including joint venture theater arrangements, to potential new partners.

The restructuring aims to kick-start new growth for Imax in South American, especially in Brazil and Argentina, which it has been slow to penetrate, compared to Europe and Asia.

Imax and Racimec first unveiled deals to open giant screen theaters in Chile and Venezuela in 2005.

"Not only have major international exhibitors expressed interest in expanding with us in this region of the world, but real estate developers have expressed a desire for the Imax brand to anchor their development projects,” Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said in a statement.

“We believe that our restructured agreement with our long-term partner, Miguel Sfeir and Racimec, will provide a 'win-win' scenario for each of us by enabling a faster penetration of this important growth market,” he added.