Pinewood agrees takeover offer with Venus Grafton
by Naman Ramachandran
- The leading global studio space is valued at £323.3 million
Leading studio group Pinewood, which has bases in the UK, US, Canada, Ireland, the Dominican Republic, Germany, China and Malaysia, has received intimation of a take over offer of £323.3 million from US real estate fund Venus Grafton and has reached an agreement on the terms of the deal. When the actual offer comes through shortly, the Pinewood board intends to recommend the deal to its shareholders, paving the way for Venus Grafton, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of PW Real Estate Fund III, to be the new owners of the iconic studio spaces.
The process began in February when Pinewood appointed Rothschild to carry out a strategic review of the group’s capital base and structure on the grounds that the company’s shareholder register had been tightly held for years, which has stifled liquidity in shares, thus preventing them from obtaining a main market listing. The deal with Venus Grafton is the result of this review.
Pinewood recently announced that revenues are up by 10.3% and that group operating profits have increased a dramatic 136.3% from 2015 fuelled by global franchises like Star Wars and James Bond using Pinewood facilities. PW Real Estate Fund III has a mighty war chest of €4 billion that should help expand Pinewood’s rapid growth.
Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy 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.”