PREPARE IPO JUMP
Copyright 2004 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ March 23rd 2004 ]
the UK studios used in the filming of Die Another
Day, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and
the Carry On comedies, is seeking a stock market
listing expected to value the company at about
£150m ($275m). Michael Grade, the former chairman
of Channel 4 and chairman of the studio, is expected
to cash in his stake in the business as part of
and Tony Scott, the film director brothers, are
among the other directors with sizeable shareholdings.
The listing follows a review by 3i, the private
equity group, which owns more than 50 per cent
of the studios after funding the initial £62m
acquisition of Pinewood four years ago, and the
subsequent acquisition of Shepperton for £35m.
Although 3i considered a possible trade sale,
it is now expected to float the business. Cazenove
is preparing details for a possible flotation
in the coming months.
are looking actively at an initial public offering
at present," a person with knowledge of the situation
said. The timing of any IPO will depend on conditions
in the equity markets. 3i, which on Thursday publishes
its pre-close statement ahead of its full-year
results statement in May, declined to comment.
Pinewood-Shepperton saw operating profits more
than double from £4.87m to £10.4m on sales up
24 per cent at £36.9m. That growth was driven
by work on the latest Bond film, the second instalment
of the Harry Potter series and Tomb Raider II.
Pinewood-Shepperton's television division is also
used for the production of The Weakest Link, the
BBC quiz show. Profits are thought to have increased
again last year following completion of a restructuring
and integration of Pinewood and Shepperton. Mr
Grade was unavailable for comment on Monday.