The film studio group best known for hosting many of the Star Wars, James Bond and Carry On film productions says it may put itself up for sale, implying that illiquidity in its shares is holding back the company.

Pinewood (PWS:AIM) says the tightly-held shareholder register has not allowed the group to get a Main Market listing on the London Stock Exchange. It will therefore look at ways to ‘maximise value’ for shareholders and has appointed Rothschild to help with a strategic review which could include selling the business.

Another reason why the £255 million cap has undertaken to look at its capital base and structure is the need for more money to fund its expansion plans.

Pinewood last year raised £30 million to part-fund the first phase of its expansion which will add five new large sound stages and extra facilities. The media group also secured £135 million of new banking facilities.

The business owns the Pinewood and Shepperton film plots and has 37 stages and three digital television studios across the group.

It is majority owned by property investor Peel Group (39.09%) and jewellery chain Warren James Holdings (26.1%), both of whom are classified as having ‘low turnover’ in the stock, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Other shareholders include Aviva Investors (13.06%) and activist investor Crystal Amber (5.46%). The Treasury of Government of the Isle of Man owns 4.99%.

The share price had increased by 62% in value in the past two years to 445.75p prior to the strategic review announcement. That news pushes the stock up a further 18.4% to 532.25p.

Peel tried to buy Pinewood in 2011 with an £87.8 million takeover bid.


Issue Date: 10 Feb 2016