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Cineworld’s Debt Crunch Leaves Spurned Merger Partner in Lurch

  • Court gave big award to Cineplex; case is now under appeal
  • Unclear whether Cineworld can come up with the money: Jacob
A customer buys concessions inside a Cineplex movie theater in Toronto before the pandemic hit in February 2020.

A customer buys concessions inside a Cineplex movie theater in Toronto before the pandemic hit in February 2020.

Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

Cineplex Inc. has a clear path to fixing its debt problem. The trouble is, it’s stuck waiting to receive cash from a rival with a stressed balance sheet. 

Canada’s largest movie-theater chain was awarded C$1.24 billion ($970 million) in damages from Cineworld Group Plc by an Ontario court last year, after Cineworld decided to walk away from a takeover offer. Cineworld hasn’t paid and an appeals court has scheduled hearings for October.