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
Thursday 02 February 1995
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."
Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando
First full-length look is finally here
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Sex abuse inquiry: 'Victims receive death threats' after MPs release names online
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Teenager brandishing fake gun taken down by police after demanding airtime on Netherlands' NOS TV station
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£26000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Content Manager is re...
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£14000 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will b...
£41500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...