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Pinewood share values jump after news of take-over approach

11-Apr-2011 • Bond News

Film studios Pinewood Shepperton - home to the Harry Potter and James Bond films - has seen a further jump in its share price following a takeover approach from the developer of BBC's new home in Manchester - reports AP

Peel Holdings, whose projects include the MediaCityUK development at Salford Quays, which will be home to several BBC departments, has proposed a price of 190p per share for the business - equivalent to £87.8 million.

Shares rose 4% on the first day of trading since Peel's approach was made public on Friday, having shot up 14% amid takeover speculation that day.
Peel Group, which is already Pinewood's biggest shareholder with just under 30% of the company, invests in infrastructure, transport and real estate in the UK and has nearly £6 billion of assets.

It recently sold the Trafford Centre to Capital Shopping Centres for £1.6 billion and is chaired by billionaire investor John Whittaker.
Peel's plans will hinge on the support of investment fund Crystal Amber, which has built a 28% stake in Pinewood despite its recent calls for new leadership at the firm, which has former ITV chairman Michael Grade at the helm.

Pinewood, which has 34 stages, filmed the fourth instalment of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, starring Johnny Depp, the final Harry Potter film and an adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's 19th century novel Jane Eyre in 2010.

The 75-year-old business is currently planning an ambitious £20 million Project Pinewood expansion at its studios in Buckinghamshire that will see it build new facilities and sets on a par with those found in Hollywood.

Its television studios have shot Dancing On Ice, Dragons' Den, BBC sitcom My Family, Piers Morgan's Life Stories and entertainment show Ant & Dec's Push The Button.

Pinewood, which also has studios in Shepperton and Teddington in Middlesex, last month posted a 31% increase in pre-tax profits to £5.8 million in the year to December 31, and an 8% increase in revenues to £43.4 million. The company also announced plans to invest millions of pounds in low-budget British films, which it hopes can emulate the success of The King's Speech.

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