Credits role in Pinewood bid saga as Peel raises its offer

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The Independent Online

The British studio behind the James Bond and Harry Potter franchises is set to change hands after a deal worth £96.1m was agreed yesterday.

The board of Pinewood Shepperton has recommended a bid of 200p per share – plus a 2.5p dividend – from Peel Holdings. The move was backed by significant shareholder Crystal Amber. Insiders said the terms of the deal would likely scare off a possible counterbid as the board would only back a rival offer that valued the group at more than 250p per share.

The former owner of Harrods, Mohamed Al Fayed, had indicated hisinterest in a possible offer for the 75-year-old studio where the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film was shot last year. His interest convinced Peel Holdings, which currently owns 29.7 per cent of the group, to increase its bid from £87.8m. Investec analyst Steve Liechti said the structure of the offer "appears to suggest a done deal" adding it was a "reasonably fair price".