'Harry Potter' studio target of takeover bid

Pinewood Shepperton studios, home to the Harry Potter and James Bond films, has received an £87.8m (€99.4m) takeover bid from the company run by billionaire investor John Whittaker.

Pinewood Shepperton studios, home to the Harry Potter and James Bond films, has received an £87.8m (€99.4m) takeover bid from the company run by billionaire investor John Whittaker.

Peel Holdings, which recently sold the Trafford Centre to Capital Shopping Centres for £1.6bn (€1.8bn), has offered 190p per share for the business.

Shares rocketed 14% to 181p on Friday as investors heard rumours that Peel, which already owns some 30% of the company, might be moving in.

Pinewood put out a statement after the stock market closed confirming Peel’s approach and saying that it may or may not lead to a full offer.

The 75-year-old business, which has 34 stages, filmed the fourth instalment of the 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' franchise, starring Johnny Depp, the final Harry Potter film and an adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s 19th century novel Jane Eyre in 2010.

Its television studios have shot 'Dancing On Ice', 'Dragons’ Den', BBC sitcom 'My Family', Piers Morgan’s 'Life Stories' and entertainment show Ant & Dec’s 'Push The Button'.

Pinewood has studios in Pinewood in Buckinghamshire, and Shepperton and Teddington in Middlesex.

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