Monday, April 11, 2011

Pinewood studios gets £87.8m bid

8 April 2011 Last updated at 19:17 GMT James Bond advertisement Pinewood studios, where many Bond films were made, celebrated its 75th anniversary last year Pinewood Shepperton has received an £87.8m takeover bid from a company run by billionaire investor John Whittaker.

Peel Holdings, which recently sold the Trafford Centre to Capital Shopping Centres for £1.6bn, has offered 190p per share for the business.

Pinewood, home to the Harry Potter and James Bond films, revealed the move early Friday evening after shares in the company soared.

Peel has already built a 29.78% stake in Pinewood.

Shares in Pinewood rocketed 14% to 181p on Friday as investors heard rumours that a bidder might be moving in.

During 2010, the 75-year-old business filmed the fourth instalment of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, starring Johnny Depp, the final Harry Potter film, and an adaptation of Jane Eyre.

Pinewood has studios in Pinewood in Buckinghamshire, and Shepperton and Teddington in Middlesex.

Last month Pinewood unveiled a 31% rise in pre-tax profits to £5.8m, and said it was looking to the future with "confidence" despite a poor economic climate.

The firm also unveiled an investment plan for small-budget British films.

The company will target films with production budgets of about £2m each and will invest equity up to 20% per film.

Peel invests in infrastructure, transport and real estate in the UK and has nearly £6bn of assets.

Its projects include the MediaCityUK development at Salford Quays, which will be home to several BBC departments.

In a short stock exchange statement Pinewood confirmed it had received a bid approach from Peel. "A further announcement will be made in due course," Pinewood said.

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