Po­ten­tial deal on sale of Pinewood

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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.”

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