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Subject: Mohamed Al Fayed revealed as Pinewood suitor

Written By: Philip Eno on 04/22/11 at 2:07 am

Mohamed Al Fayed has revealed himself as the rival suitor for the Pinewood Shepperton film studio.

"Mr Al Fayed confirms he is considering making an all-cash offer for Pinewood," said the Egyptian businessman in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

"There can be no certainty that an offer will be forthcoming."

Any offer would be in competition to an £87.8m takeover bid made earlier this month by Peel Holdings, a company run by billionaire investor John Whittaker.

Peel Holdings has offered 190 pence per share for the 75-year-old film studio company.

But as of lunchtime on Thursday, Pinewood's shares had rallied 18% to 223p per share since the company first revealed on Wednesday that it had been approached by a possible second buyer.

Peel has recently sold the Trafford Centre to Capital Shopping Centres for £1.6bn and has already built a 29.78% stake in Pinewood.

During 2010, Pinewood filmed the fourth instalment of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, the final Harry Potter film and an adaptation of Jane Eyre.

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

Last month, Pinewood unveiled a 31% rise in pre-tax profits to £5.8m, and said it was looking to the future with "confidence" despite a poor economic climate.

The firm also unveiled an investment plan for small-budget British films.

The company will target films with production budgets of about £2m each and will invest equity up to 20% per film.

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