Pinewood shares jump as suitor Peel looks at takeover

film studios Pinewood Shepperton – home to the James Bond films – saw a further jump in its share price yesterday following a takeover approach from the developer of BBC’s new home in Manchester.

Peel Holdings, whose projects include the MediaCityUK development at Salford Quays, which will be home to several BBC departments, has proposed a price of 190p per share for the business – equivalent to £87.8m.

Shares rose 4 per cent on the first day of trading since Peel’s approach was made public on Friday, having shot up 14 per cent on takeover speculation that day.

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Peel Group, which is already Pinewood’s biggest shareholder with just under 30 per cent of the company, invests in infrastructure, transport and real estate in the UK and has nearly £6bn of assets.

It recently sold the Trafford Centre to Capital Shopping Centres for £1.6bn and is chaired by billionaire investor John Whittaker.

Peel’s plans will hinge on the support of investment fund Crystal Amber, which has built a 28 per cent stake in Pinewood despite its recent calls for new leadership at the firm, which has former ITV chairman Michael Grade at the helm.

Pinewood, which has 34 stages, filmed the fourth instalment of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, starring Johnny Depp, the final Harry Potter film and an adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s 19th century novel Jane Eyre in 2010.

The 75-year-old business is currently planning an ambitious £20m Project Pinewood expansion at its studios in Buckinghamshire that will see it build new facilities and sets on a par with those found in Hollywood.

Its television studios have shot Dancing On Ice, Dragons’ Den, BBC sitcom My Family, Piers Morgan’s Life Stories and entertainment show Ant & Dec’s Push The Button.

Pinewood last month posted a 31 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £5.8m in the year to December 31, and an 8 per cent increase in revenues to £43.4m.

The company also announced plans to invest in low-budget British films.