PINEWOOD STUDIOS MULLING OVER IPO
Copyright 2002 www.variety.com

[ February 25th 2002 ]

Pinewood Shepperton Studios has appointed investment banking arm HSBC to explore the possibility of a public stock offering. HSBC will examine options for the company, created a year ago when Pinewood merged with Shepperton in a 35 million deal that gave the enlarged group a value of more than 144 million.

Deal was lead by Pinewood chairman Michael Grade, who is said to favor an IPO. The historic studios, both west of London, are the principal bases in Europe for major Hollywood productions. The 20th pic in the James Bond franchise is filming at Pinewood Shepperton.

Grade headed the consortium that paid $89 million to acquire Pinewood from Rank in February 2000. Since then, it has hosted blockbusters including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Spy Game. As for Shepperton, more than $25 million was invested in the studio over five years, and it has played host to 102 Dalmatians, Shakespeare in Love and The Mummy Returns.

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