Cinema operator Village Cinemas International (VCI) is facing a possible multi-million dollar payout to Charles Wesoky, former consultant for the company in Europe for breach of contract, according to the Australian Associated Press.

After a ruling in the Australian Federal Court which found that VCI had breached its contract with Wesoky following the company's reorganisation of its cinema interests in Europe, the former consultant is seeking damages for having been deprived the opportunity to direct and manage VCI's exhibition investments in France, Switzerland and Italy.

The court also found VCI refused to offer a non-recourse loan to enable Wesoky to acquire a 5% equity stake in the cinema investments in France and Switzerland. In a separate ruling, the Court found VCI had contravened theTrade Practices Act by failing to disclose a unilateral change of intention to commit to providing Wesoky with the financing.

Village has filed a Notice of Appeal against the judgement, which will be heard in May.

Currently chairman and CEO of Europlex Cinemas, a company founded in November1999 in partnership with Soros Private Equity Partners, a member of the Soros Group, Mr. Wesoky is a specialist with many years' experience in operating cinemas and has set up screens in various European countries.