Cineplex go-shop ends; Cineworld one step closer to acquiring

Shareholders are prepared to meet on Feb. 11 to vote on the transaction valued at $2.8 billion.
Cineplex

The U.K.’s Cineworld Group is one step closer to acquiring Cineplex as the go-shop period comes to a close.

The seven-week window was part of the terms of a deal valued at $2.8 billion to take ownership of Cineplex, which allowed the Toronto-based company to solicit and enter negotiations with potential buyers. Cineplex disclosed that it contacted 52 third party companies during the go-shop period, but no better offers emerged.

Cineplex shareholders are scheduled to meet on Feb. 11 to approve the deal, which will see Cineworld acquire all issued and outstanding common Cineplex shares at $34 per share in cash.

The deal is also subject to regulatory requirements, such as approvals from Investment Canada and the Competition Bureau. It may be subject to a tangible benefits package, similar to when Cineplex was forced to sell 27 theatres after acquiring theatre chain Famous Players to satisfy anti-trust concerns.

Independent proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co. released a recommendation for Cineplex shareholders to approve the deal. The Cineplex board of directors has also stated that the $34 price point per share is a fair deal for shareholders and in the best interest of Cineplex. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

Cineworld is set to become the largest theatre chain in North America with the acquisition of Cineplex. The U.K. company owns more than 7,300 theatres in the U.S. through its acquisition of the cinema chain Regal Entertainment and the addition of Cineplex theatres would bring the number up to more than 11,200. Cineworld is also one of the few chains that has implemented a subscription model, although what that model would look like in Canada is still unclear, as well as the acquisition’s impact on the Canadian film industry.

This story originally appears in Playback.

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