Potential deal on sale of Pinewood
THE COMPANY that owns Pinewood Studios could be sold for £323 million.
Pinewood Group, which owns the Iver Heath studios, announced on Thursday (July 28) that it had reached agreement with a property investment company ‘on the key terms of a possible cash offer’.
If the takeover bid from Venus Grafton Sarl is made the board will recommend to its shareholders – including its two biggest, Goodweather Investment Management Ltd and Warren James Holdings Ltd, which hold 22,443,396 and 14,983,990 of the company share capital – that they accept.
Venus Grafton Sarl is a wholly owned subsidiary of PW Real Estate Fund III LP, a property fund which invests in real estate and real estate related opportunities in the UK and Europe.
It is managed by London based asset management business Aermont Capital LLP, which serves as investment advisor to PW Real Estate Fund III LP.
In February the board announced it had appointed investment bank Rothschild to help with a strategic review of the company, with a restricting shareholder register previously holding the company back from a public listing and from new funding investment.
The board also recognised the need for a future funding strategy to be put in place to build on the company’s successes.
The deal will only be completed when the financial arrangements are secured and finalised, a process which could take up to four weeks.
In a statement Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of Pinewood, said: “Pinewood has grown in recent years into a global operation which sits at the forefront of the UK’s creative industries.
“We believe that we have found the right partner for the business and one that shares our long-term vision for the future of the group.
“Pinewood’s continuing commitment to the UK’s creative industries remains as strong as ever. Staff and customers can be assured that in this new strategic partnership our priority will be to not only maintain, but build on the world class provision of services.”
Leon Bressler, managing partner of Aermont, said: “Pinewood is an iconic brand at the heart of the global creative industries.
“The transformation of the business in recent years has been considerable and it is clear that there are more ambitions to be realised.
“We are excited about the potential to support the business as an independent company.
“Aermont has a strong track record in operating companies with a real estate component. We look forward to working with Pinewood’s management team to deliver their compelling strategy for future growth, both in the UK and internationally.”