Real estate fund closes in on Pinewood Studios purchase

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 | BUSINESS SALE

Pinewood Group, the company behind Pinewood Studios, is on the verge of being purchased by a real estate private fund in a £323 million deal.

A successful sale will ensure new investment for Pinewood, to include a £200 million boost to its core UK operations. It had brought in Rothschild back in February to pursue options such as a takeover. Someone close to the deal said Rothschild had spoken with over 180 possible buyers.

The deal will depend on the buyer, property investment fund Aremont Capital, securing financing in the next four weeks. Aermont was part of the US investment bank Parella Weinberg, but split away in July last year.

Aermont has a licence to buy property assets and “corporate operating businesses that have a real estate component”. It intends, according to a person familiar with the fund's plans, to plug investment into Pinewood's operating business to speed up its existing expansion plans.

Pinewood Studios has provided the setting for many blockbuster films since it opened in 1936. These include the James Bond films The Spy Who Loved Me, Spectre and Skyfall and in fact built a 60,000 sq. ft. stage, which has been used for the ongoing film series. Others include the Carry On films, the Superman films, Harry Potter and The Fifth Element.

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