The UK film studio Pinewood Group has hired Rothschild to carry out a strategic review of its structure and ownership. It is possible that investors will be called upon to expand its shareholder register. Alternatively, a full sale of the business is also a possibility. The company’s structure has been subject to much frustration among Pinewood’s management. Three of its largest investors hold 79 per cent of the stock and this prevents the studio from achieving a market listing on the London Stock Exchange; which would provide greater opportunity for fundraising.
Pinewood has adopted a £200m plan to expand capacity at its main UK operations. The first phase is due to be completed in the summer, and this will add five large stages. This phase was funded by a placing of £30m shares last April. However, the studio aims to raise a greater amount of money in order to fund phases two and three of the plan in the foreseeable future. Pinewood’s Chief Executive has stated that the shareholder arrangement is “stifling” the company’s efforts. He has also confirmed that the group has not had any takeover approaches, whilst making it patently clear that it is not ruling out a full sale or a strategic partner taking an equity stake.