Almorah Services buys HandMade

Spokesman says buyout was necessary to save company

HandMade Plc – parent company to HandMade Films -, which owns the rights to titles such as “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” and “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” has been bought out by Almorah Services Ltd for £2.3 million ($3.5 million).

Almorah, which was set up specifically to do the transaction, bought a 40% stake of HandMade at 1p (1.5 cents) a share from Cartier Investments Inc, the company’s biggest shareholder. Almorah has “irrevocable” offers from shareholders for another 14% of the company, giving it a controlling share of the shingle.

HandMade, founded by former Beatle George Harrison in the 1970s, has been having financial difficulties for a number of years and has suspended trading on the stock market twice in the past year. Shares are currently suspended at 9.5p (14.5 cents) a share, valuing it at £22 million ($33.6 million).

A spokesman for Almorah said the buyout was necessary to save the company from further financial despair and “will launch a strategy review of the company once the situation has been examined further.”

In addition to “Life of Brian,” HandMade has produced films such as “The Long Good Friday,” “Withnail & I,” “Time Bandits” and “Planet 51” and has announced a remake of “The Long Good Friday” and children’s pic “Eloise In Paris.”

HandMade could not be reached for comment.