Pinewood-shepperton Studios A Takeover Target
Pinewood-Shepperton, the British studio that only a few years ago found itself struggling as Hollywood studios were being successfully wooed by other U.S. states and foreign countries, suddenly is being courted by two rich suitors. Just days after Peel Holdings made a takeover bid of $144 million, the studio said that it had received a second bid from an unnamed party. Pinewood-Shepperton is best known as the home of the James Bond and Harry Potter movies, although its stages are used for much smaller productions, including the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech and several British game and reality TV shows. But some believe it's greater value lies in its extensive land holdings. Peel, which currently owns 29.8 percent of the company, is headed by John Whittaker, a property developer. Only recently a planning board rejected Pinewood's plans to build some 1,400 homes on land adjoining the site. The studio is seeking to have that decision overturned.