Peel must up bid to secure film business

Peel Holdings, the majority shareholder in Pinewood Shepperton, will be forced to pay substantially more than its initial 190p per share approach for the film studio, according to a source close to the deal.

On Friday, Pinewood disclosed that it had received an offer of 190p per share from Peel Holdings, which owns 29.7 per cent of the film studio, to take full control of the company that is best known as the home of the James Bond and Harry Potter films.

But a source predicted the early negotiations between Peel and Pinewood will result in a “reasonable” takeover bid of between 220p and 225p per share, based on the deal struck by SVG Capital, which last month sold its remaining three per cent stake in Pinewood to Peel.

“This is a credible approach and one that is highly likely to lead to a firm offer,” the source told City A.M. “It is not a done deal, but the days of Pinewood Shepperton as an independent company are numbered.”

Crystal Amber Fund, which owns 28.9 per cent of Pinewood Shepperton, welcomed Peel’s approach.

Richard Bernstein, investment adviser to Crystal Amber, said: “We have always said we believe there is significant untapped potential [in Pinewood Shepperton], and we wish to see the unlocking of that value.”

Pinewood said in a statement: “This approach may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company.”