Empire Theatres Expands Across Canada

posted by Patrick Crowley on August 31, 2005 at 5:32 am

Mike Rivest sent us this press release about Empire Theatres expansion in Canada. (He also mentioned that a list of the theaters involved can be found here.

TORONTO, ONTARIO—(CCNMatthews – Aug. 22, 2005) – Cineplex Galaxy LP (“Cineplex”) (TSX:CGX.UN) announced today that it has agreed to sell 27 theatres with 202 screens located in Ontario and Western Canada to Empire Theatres Limited (“Empire Theatres”) based in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. The transaction is valued at approximately $83 million and is expected to close September 30, 2005, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

“We are delighted to announce that we have an agreement to sell the Ontario and Western Canada locations to Empire Theatres,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex Galaxy. “The acquisition of Famous Players was completed on July 22, 2005 and we are delighted to have an agreement to sell the vast majority of the theatres that we are required to divest less than 30 days later” said Jacob.

Cineplex entered into a consent agreement with Canada’s Commissioner of Competition in connection with the Famous Players acquisition requiring the sale of 34 theatres with a total of 282 screens located in Ontario, Western Canada and Quebec.

Stuart Fraser, President and CEO, Empire Theatres Limited said “we are very pleased with this acquisition as it enables us to further expand our presence across Canada beyond our core group of theatres located in Atlantic Canada. We look forward to operating these theatres and introducing the Empire Theatres brand to Ontario and Western Canada.” As part of the agreement, Empire Theatres will offer employment to all staff currently employed in these theatres.

Cineplex and Empire Theatres have also agreed to enter into a Screen Advertising Agreement under which Cineplex Galaxy will act as Empire Theatres' sales agent for in-theatre and on-screen advertising for these acquired theatres.

Proceeds from the transaction will be used to repay a portion of the debt financing incurred in connection with the acquisition of Famous Players. The divestiture process for the remaining seven locations in Quebec continues and is expected to be announced by the end of the third quarter.

A complete listing of the theatres being sold is attached to this press release.

About Cineplex Galaxy LP:

Cineplex Galaxy LP owns, operates or has an interest in 132 theatres with1, 278 screens (after giving effect to the 34 theatres and 282 screens to be divested pursuant to a consent agreement with the Canadian Commissioner of Competition) and is the largest motion picture exhibitor in Canada. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the company operates theatres with the following five top-tier brands: Cineplex Odeon, Coliseum, Colossus, Galaxy and Silver City. Proudly Canadian, Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund, which owns approximately 50.2% of Cineplex Galaxy LP, is a public company traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund (symbol CGX.UN). More information can be found at www.cineplexgalaxy.com or at www.famousplayers.ca

About Empire Theatres Limited:

Empire Theatres Limited is a 100% owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited with its corporate headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. As of August 12, 2005, Empire Theatres currently operates 28 theatres (plus one drive-In) representing 177 screens in Atlantic Canada including one IMAX theatre in Halifax, together with an existing Joint Venture operating 4 theatres and 24 screens in Western Canada. As a result of this acquisition Empire Theatres will operate 59 theatres representing 403 screens across Canada. Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.NV.A) is a diversified Canadian company headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Empire’s key businesses include food distribution, real estate, theatres and corporate investment activities. More information can be found at www.empiretheatres.com or www.empireco.ca

(Quebec media reports that Wallace Theatres and Cinémas Guzzo is looking into the 7 theatres in Quebec.)

Comments (12)

rivest266 on August 31, 2005 at 1:37 pm

The 7 theatres in Quebec are:
FP StarCité Hull 16 *

CO Cote Des Neiges 7
CO Cavendish Mall 8
CO Lasalle 12 (Built by Guzzo for Cineplex Odeon.)
FP Le Parisian 7

FP Galeries de la Capitole 12
FP StarCité 18 (largest in Quebec City)
=All stadium theatres.

Empire snubbed these theatres because the Le Parisian is a unionized house (and Quebec has strong pro-union laws.) also the Le Parisian is being replaced by a “complexe spectrum” project.

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