The Financial Post reports in its Tuesday, Dec. 17, edition that Cineplex has agreed to be bought by British theatre chain Cineworld in a $2.8-billion deal that, if approved, would create the largest cinema empire in North America.
The Post's Jake Edmiston writes that Cineplex, at 1,700 screens, is a relatively minor player compared with a giant like Cineworld. In an industry where streaming services are weaning studios off their dependence on cinemas, joining a giant could be the right move for Cineplex, analysts believe.
The Cineworld Group offer, which values Cineplex at $34 a share, would boost Cineworld's screen count to more than 8,900 screens in North America, surpassing AMC. Cinemas have been struggling to hold onto their right to screen films exclusively for several months before they are shown on other platforms. With studios like Disney running their own streaming services, the pressure to shrink the theatrical window will grow, says Veritas analyst Sam La Bell.
He says: "You want to have enough bargaining power with the studios so you can have sway. The bigger you are, the more bargaining power you have."
The deal have several conditions to meet before it is approved.
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