Toronto-headquartered Cineplex Entertainment received a No Action Letter (NAL) from Canada’s Commissioner of Competition today, enabling the company to acquire 24 Empire theaters in Atlantic Canada, it was announced today.

The cash purchase price is approximately C$194 million ($187 million), subject to adjustments at closing, and the deal is expected to close in late October.

“Today’s announcement brings us an important step closer to our goal of establishing a truly national, cost-to-coast presence,” said Cineplex president and CEO Ellis Jacob in a statement. “We look forward to providing our Atlantic Canadian guests an exceptional entertainment experience.”

Cineplex and Empire had previously requested approval from the Commissioner to allow Cineplex to buy two additional Empire theaters in Ontario but the proposed deal was later restructured. The two theaters were not included on the NAL, and will not be acquired by Cineplex.

When the deal closes, Cineplex will remain Canada’s largest exhibitor, with 161 theaters and 1,635 auditoriums from coast to coast. The company currently operates 1,454 screens from British Columbia to Quebec.

Cineplex trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol CGX.  The exhibitor serves approximately 71 million moviegoers annually through several theater brands.

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