Imax scores arbitration win over E-City


NEW DELHI -- Toronto-based Imax on Tuesday announced that it won its arbitration case against Mumbai-based E-City Entertainment Ltd., which has been ordered to pay $9.4 million, plus interest and costs, to Imax for breach of contract.

Imax and E-City -- part of the Essel Group that owns broadcasting network Zee Telefilms -- entered into an agreement in 2000 in which Imax awarded E-City rights to develop a minimum of six Imax theaters in India.

"E-City subsequently claimed that the agreement was a nonbinding term sheet, that the amount of damages that Imax was seeking for lost profits was excessive and that Imax had failed to mitigate its damages," Imax said in a statement.

The arbitration took place in London and a Panel of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce found unanimously in favor of Imax.

"The panel found that the agreement was fully enforceable, that E-City had breached its obligations under that agreement and awarded Imax all of the lost profits that it sought under the agreement," Imax said.

With interest and costs, Imax believes the total award will increase to more than $11 million.

A spokesperson for Mumbai-based E-City did not offer comment Wednesday.

India has three Imax screens, including one each in Mumbai and New Delhi in partnership with theatrical chain Adlabs Cinemas, and the third in the southern city of Hyderabad in partnership with Prasad Labs.