LONDON — U.K. studio Pinewood Shepperton has applied for a stock market listing but has not yet revealed financial details. Company saw an operating profit of £10.9 million ($20.05 million) for 2003 on revenues of $69.7 million.
Michael Grade, ex-chief exec of Channel 4 and chairman of Pinewood Shepperton, said the goal of the float is “to facilitate a refinancing of existing debt and to build a capital structure that provides long-term opportunities for business to grow.”
Grade is eager to capitalize on the rise in demand for content in film worldwide. Grade intends to retain a majority of his stake in the business, as do the other directors.
Future investment will focus on the core biz, which revolves around the studios. Pinewood Shepperton owns the freehold to the 200-acre site, which boast 36 stages and provides facilities for 200 media businesses.
Pinewood Shepperton does have plans outside Blighty. According to Grade, the studio is “awaiting results on the bid” under way for the Toronto-based Portlands Project, a $150 million film studio to be built from scratch (Daily Variety, Dec. 7).
Pinewood Shepperton is the product of the amalgamation of the two leading U.K. studios, both established in the 1930s. In February 2000, a management team led by Grade and Ivan Dunleavy backed by venture capital company 3i bought Pinewood from Rank. With further funding from 3i, Pinewood Studios acquired Shepperton Studios a year later.