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Lights! Camera! Action! Directing the acquisition of Pinewood Studios

Setting the scene

A pan-European investment fund advised by our client, Aermont Capital LLP - an asset management business, focused on real estate and real estate-related investment activities in the UK and Europe - was looking at acquiring Pinewood Studios, home to James Bond, Star Wars and great films since 1936.

Pinewood is an iconic, globally recognised brand and is the world’s leading provider of stage and studio space and related support services to global screen-based industries.

“We were able to sell in across industries seamlessly. We delivered high quality, in depth film and studio knowledge with Mark Maitland and his commercial team, and addressed tax advice through Neal Diplock and his tax network. We are at our best when we work together for the benefit of our clients.”

Chris Mutch, Partner, Transaction Services Real Estate, PwC

How we helped

We’d previously worked with Aermont on tax and transactions services projects and our existing strong relationship with them, along with our ability to provide a combined team with both real estate and Technology Media and Telecoms (TMT) specialists, was a key factor in our appointment.

Aermont asked us to advise across many aspects of the £450 million deal, including financial, commercial, tax and HR/pensions due diligence, tax structuring and M&A lead advisory in relation to the de-listing.

And our extensive industry experience was critical. We were able to draw on PwC's leading real estate analysis and insight, such as our Emerging Trends in Real Estate, and findings from our Entertainment & Media team, who work with businesses on the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation across the whole sector, from TV and film to music and gaming.

Importantly, we were able to provide a full service offering to the client, ranging from UK take-over advice to advising on the documentation involved in the take-private of a UK publicly listed company.

"Nick Frendo, a Financial Due Diligence director, saw the opportunity to bring in sector expertise; it was great to be able to leverage all our prior experience in the film sector to give Aermont a view on the prospects for Pinewood Studios, including why it can maintain its position as the leading studio worldwide for blockbuster movies.”

Mark Maitland, Partner, PwC

Making a difference

Pinewood is now able to invest substantially in its people and infrastructure at the UK studios and strengthen its international presence in the key markets around the world.

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