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NEWS CAPTURE & PRODUCE At the end of July it was announced that the Pinewood Studios Group could be sold to a real estate private equity fund. An official offer of £323m is due to be made by 25 August and, if it does materialise, the Pinewood board will recommend to its shareholders that it is accepted. There’s nothing binding yet but the intention is there. The background to this potential deal is quite interesting. On 10 February 2016, Rothschild was appointed to assist with a strategic review of Pinewood’s capital base and structure. According to the Financial Times, “management had become frustrated with the company’s structure, where three of its largest investors hold 79 per cent of the stock. The arrangement bars the studio from achieving a market listing on the main London Stock Exchange, which would give it access to greater fundraising ability.” So, if the offer is received (and there is no guarantee of that happening) it will be intriguing to see if, once further funds are garnered via the stock market, whether Pinewood will look to bolster its TV business. Will Strauss ANALYSIS While the film business at Pinewood has seen excellent growth, this success in features has limited its ability to service the huge demand for high-end drama. This was made clear in the company’s accounts. Group revenue for the 12 months to March 2016 increased from £75m in 2015 to £83.2m. But Pinewood’s TV revenue for the same period declined £600,000 to £5.2m. Pinewood attributed the fall to “strong film demand limiting opportunity.” A similar drop in revenue generated by the company’s TV business was recorded in the previous set of full-year results too. With potential new owners - and five new sound stages that opened in July - there will be plenty of people hoping that trend can soon be reversed. SWITCHERS STUDIOS The Pinewood Group’s board intends to unanimously recommend that its shareholders accept a £323m takeover deal by Venus Grafton. An official cash offer for the studios and facilities company is due to be made by the end of August once financing arrangements are completed. Venus Grafton - incorporated for the purposes of this deal - is a subsidiary of the PW Real Estate Fund that is managed by the London- based property asset management business Aermont Capital. Commenting on the possible offer, Ivan Dunleavy, the chief executive of Pinewood, said: “We believe that we have found the right partner for the business and one that shares our long- term vision for the future of the Group.” 6 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 116 AUGUST 2016 Brazilian multichannel cable and satellite TV service Globosat has bought two Kahuna 9600 switchers for its HD coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. SporTV, SporTV2, SporTV3 and SporTV4 will all use the Snell Advanced Media (SAM) switcher during the games. Globosat will use IP links to bring in more than 90 signals from the numerous event locations throughout Brazil as well as from its headquarters. Lourenco Carvano, director of engineering at Globosat, said: “We recognise that investing in SAM’s Kahuna switcher ahead of the games meant we were getting future-proof technology that will not only payoff during an imminent event like the Olympics, but offer us a long-term solution for any other challenges we might encounter down the road.”