The £323 million ($419 million) sale of the Pinewood Group, whose studios have been home to the James Bond franchise and the most recent “Star Wars” movies, is moving ahead.
Private equity fund PW Fund III, which is managed by London-based asset manager Aermont Capital, said it would proceed with the deal after it completed financing for the acquisition. PW Fund III announced its intention to buy Pinewood on July 28. On Friday, it said that had “satisfied its financing pre-condition, and accordingly [the buyer] and Pinewood have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition.” Each Pinewood shareholder will receive 563.2 pence ($7.29) per share.
In February, Pinewood hired Rothschild to carry out a strategic review of Pinewood’s capital base and structure after the board became frustrated that its attempts to raise financing for further growth had been stymied by the share structure. The PW Fund III deal has been portrayed by Pinewood as the successful conclusion to that review.
Pinewood chairman Michael Grade said in a statement: “The board believes that [the buyer] can provide Pinewood with the platform required for future growth. The Pinewood Group has been transformed in recent years but has been somewhat constrained in realizing its ambitions due to the lack of share liquidity.”
Leon Bressler, Aermont’s managing partner, said: “Pinewood is an iconic brand at the heart of the global creative industries. The transformation of the business in recent years has been considerable and it is clear that there are more ambitions to be realized. We are excited about the potential to support the business as an independent company.”