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U.S. court ruling in Cineworld bankruptcy proceedings halts Cineplex case in Ontario

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A Cineplex Odeon Cinemas is shown in Oshawa on Friday January 21, 2022. Cineplex Inc. says a U.S. court ruling today will mean the Ontario Court of Appeal won't hear a case between the Toronto theatre giant and its once-suitor Cineworld Group PLC as scheduled. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ives

TORONTO — Cineplex Inc. says a U.S. court ruling will mean the Ontario Court of Appeal won't hear a case between the Toronto theatre giant and its once-suitor Cineworld Group PLC as scheduled. 

Cineplex says the U.S. court, where U.K.-based Cineworld filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, denied Cineplex's request to allow a Canadian case between the two companies to proceed as planned in October.

Cineplex says Cineworld and its subsidiaries took the position that the Canadian case was contingent on proceedings before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

The Canadian case dates back to 2020, when Cineworld walked away from a $2.18-billion deal to buy Cineplex, sparking a court battle over whether Cineworld had the right to get out of the deal.

An Ontario court ruled last year in Cineplex's favour, awarding the company $1.24 billion in damages, but Cineworld has since appealed the judgment while Cineplex is pushing for an even higher payout.

Cineplex says its case still has merits and it won't stop pursuing other avenues to recoup the money it feels it is owed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2022.

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The Canadian Press