Brothers in £12m deal for Shepperton film studios bought by Scott bros

British directors Ridley and Tony Scott invest Hollywood expertise in m ajor boost for UK industry. Marianne Macdonald reports

The British film director brothers Ridley and Tony Scott bought Shepperton film studios yesterday for £12m. The deal is expected to give a big boost to the British film industry.

The brothers, who are based in the United States, have produced between them some of the most successful films of recent years. Ridley, 56, directed Alien, filmed at Shepperton, Blade Runner and Thelma and Louise; Tony, 51, directed Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II and Days of Thunder.

They now plan to use their Hollywood contacts to lure American producers and directors to film at Shepperton, and also intend to use the studios, near Twickenham in Middlesex, as a base for their own movies.

They will be helped by the favourable exchange rate with the US, which has made it 25 per cent cheaper to film in Britain.

London-based Candover Investments, which specialises in company buy-outs, put up £7m of the £12m purchase price, with £4m from Barclays Bank and £1m from the Scotts. Contributions were also made by Shepperton's management and Intermedia Film Equities of California, which specialises in mergers and acquisitions. The extra money will provide working capital.

The studios were sold by the US corporation Lee International, formerly Lee Electric, which bought Shepperton in 1984. The lighting equipment supplier, which also owns the camera manufacturer Panavision, is thought to be trying to recover from over-extending its interests.

Shepperton operated profitably under Lee International's ownership, but was kept under tight financial constraints. That should change in the next five years: the Scotts plan to spend at least £10m on upgrading.

Job losses are not expected. A recent survey of Shepperton's management structure is said to have impressed the Scotts.

The brothers' film contacts will also help to generate business at Shepperton. They jointly own RSA, the London-based television commercial production company, and a Hollywood production company.

Neither would speak to the media yesterday, although Ridley Scott said in a statement: "I am particularly pleased to confirm that we shall be continuing with the studio's first-class management team, led by Denis Carrigan. We have been working together on our plans to extend the facility."

More than 600 films have been made at the studio, including classics such as The Man Who Fell to Earth, Colditz, Oliver! and The Guns of Navarone.

More recent productions include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Judge Dredd, a new film starring Sylvester Stallone.

When the brothers announced their intention to buy the studio in September, Ridley Scott admitted: "I've been shooting there for 27 years. The sale is almost nostalgic, but I don't want it to be a nostalgic relationship. I want it to be a business relationship."

Nigel Sinclair, of Intermedia, one of the companies involved with the Scotts in the takeover, said yesterday: "This is a cutting-edge deal. British film-makers who have achieved top success in Hollywood are bringing their expertise back to the UK's most venerable studio."

Andrew Patrick, chief executive of the British Film Commission, said: "It's obviously good news to have attracted people of the stature of the Scott brothers. Buying Shepperton is a vote of confidence in the UK."

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam