Pinewood Conducts Review; 007 film home may be sold

Pinewood Group PLC logo

Pinewood Group PLC logo

Pinewood Group PLC said Wednesday it’s conducting a “strategic review” that could lead to the company — the long-time studio home for the 007 films — to be sold.

Here’s an excerpt from the company’s press release:

The Board has now determined that it is appropriate to evaluate alternative opportunities to maximise value for the Company’s shareholders and to build on Pinewood’s successes to date. We believe there is a requirement for a funding strategy to be in place to fully realise the Company’s future potential…Accordingly, Rothschild has been appointed to assist with a strategic review of the overall capital base and structure, which could include a sale of the Company.

Pinewood has wanted to move to the main market of the London Stock Exchange from AIM, the market for smaller, growing companies. But, ACCORDING TO REUTERS, such a move is being hindered by the company’s tight ownership.

“As a result of a failed takeover attempt in 2011, Pinewood’s biggest shareholder Peel Group owns about 40 percent and Warren James Holdings has a 26 percent stake, Reuters data showed,” the news service reported. Bloomberg News said IN A SEPARATE STORY that Aviva PLC owns another 13 percent. All told, that means the large holders control 79 percent of Pinewood Shares. To get on the main market, a company needs to have at least 25 percent of its shares trading publicly, Bloomberg said.

Besides the bulk of the Bond films (including last year’s SPECTRE), Star Wars movies, the 1989 Batman and 1978 Superman films have been made at Pinewood’s main U.K. studios. The company has expanded to other locations, including Atlanta and Toronto.

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