Pinewood recommend Peel deal

The Board of Pinewood Studios has recommended acceptance of an increased takeover offer from Peel Holdings.

The offer, increased to £2 a share from £1.90 after interest from another potential bidder reported to be Mohammed Al-Fayed, is recommended unanimously by the Board for shareholder acceptance, and values the studios at £96m, a 22.1% premium on the share price on 7 April 2011, the last business day before Peel’s first offer was made. Peel already holds almost 30% of Pinewood. Al-Fayed is reported not to have made an offer.

John Whittaker, Chairman of the Peel Group, said: “Peel is a long-term investor in Pinewood and the wider media sector through its MediaCityUK investment (in Salford) and looks forward to supporting the Pinewood management in growing its operational business and developing its unique Project Pinewood proposal.”

Michael Grade, Chairman of Pinewood, said: “The Pinewood Independent Directors have recommended this offer to shareholders as it delivers certainty at an attractive premium. In the context of increasing illiquidity in the trading of Pinewood Shares, the Pinewood Independent Directors believe that this stable time in a volatile industry offers shareholders an opportune moment to realise value.”

“Peel has been a most supportive shareholder, committed to our strategy and vision for the group. The Board is satisfied that the long-term future of these assets, which make such a contribution to the growth of the UK’s creative industries, will pass into safe hands.”

“For 75 years the names Pinewood and Shepperton have been iconic in the global screen industries. The current management has advanced the business, investing to re-establish it as a world-class centre for all creative industries and expanding internationally with Pinewood representation now in five key regions around the world. We have developed a digital infrastructure to support our UK studios and Pinewood is planning for the next 75 years with innovative schemes such as Project Pinewood.”

“The Pinewood Independent Directors believe that today’s proposal will give the business the long-term stability it needs to build on the success of the past few years.”

 The deal is expected to be ratified at a shareholders meeting at the end of May. See a report from Sky News.

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