Wales

Pinewood Studios Wales sale option as part of review

Daniel Craig Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Pinewood Studios is responsible for the James Bond franchise

The film studios responsible for the James Bond franchise is considering the sale of its business, including its studios in Wales.

Pinewood Group Plc has appointed the investment bank Rothschild to carry out a major strategic review of its assets and structure.

Filming for Amazon Prime's first UK original drama, The Collection, is due to start at the Cardiff site soon.

Pinewood said the sale was just one of a number of options being investigated.

The review is part of Pinewood's attempts to be listed as one of the UK's most well-known companies on the London Stock Exchange and attract more attention from potential investors.

Andrew Smith, Corporate Affairs Director at Pinewood Plc, said: "We have launched the strategic review because just about 80% of the company is owned by three shareholders and in order to continue to build on our successes to date we need to release more finance so we can market on the London Stock Exchange.

"Those successes will hopefully establish a price which will allow shareholders to sell down and create liquidity."

The company has a market capitalisation of £250m and its statement says a sale is one of the options - but some kind of other change to its structure might be the solution.

Rothschild will be advising them on the best course of action but the implications for the studio in Cardiff will not be known until the advisors finish their work and Pinewood tells the stock exchange of its findings.

"Sale is just one of a huge number of options. The value is for the market to decide," Mr Smith added.

He said the company's current expectations of performance for this financial year are now higher than when they released results in December.

He said: "This robust trading includes Pinewood Studios Wales where Amazon's first UK production, The Collection, will start filming soon.

"This is about looking at capital growth. We are hiring more staff in our facilities, including our facilities in Wales and are delighted that Amazon are shooting their first UK project here."

Pinewood Studios Wales is based at the former Energy Centre building in Wentloog. The Collection, an eight-part series set in the world of French haute couture just after WWII and filmed in both Wales and France is the latest project to film there.

Ivan Dunleavy, Pinewood Group Plc's chief executive, said: "We believe Pinewood has the potential to build on the strong performance of the last few years to grow further both in the UK and internationally.

"The board is now looking to identify the best ways to create the appropriate capital structure to allow the company to realise its goals in the best interests of shareholders."

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