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Jones Day and Travers Smith star as James Bond’s Pinewood studios sold

Travers Smith and Jones Day have taken on the leading roles in a £323m deal for Pinewood Group, which owns the iconic Pinewood studios.

Jones Day advised on the acquisition by PW Real Estate Fund III in its takeover of Pinewood Group, which was accepted by Pinewood’s board of directors on Friday (12 August).

Travers acted for Pinewood, whose famous studio is known for working on many of the UK’s most famous film titles, including the James Bond series, the Harry Potter films, the Hobbit and the latest instalments in the Star Wars saga.

Jones Day’s team was led by London corporate partner Neil Ferguson, M&A partner Leon Ferera, with partners Anna Cartwright and Emily Stew. They worked alongside a team of partners and associates advising the acquisition fund on real estate, capital markets, finance and government regulation.

Pinewood was advised by a Travers team led by head of corporate Neal Watson, alongside corporate partner Adrian West. Travers have long acted as advisers to Pinewood Group, advising on several deals for the studio.

In 2014, Watson led on Pinewood’s 50% acquisition of Shepperton Studios Property Partnership for £36.8m from Aviva. In 2013, Travers head of commercial, IP and technology Tom Purton advised on a joint venture with Chinese media company Seven Stars Media to set up a new Chinese entertainment company.

Paul Hastings also scored a part on the deal, acting for arrangers European Real Estate Debt II S.à r.l and DRC European Real Estate Debt III No. 2 S.à r.l, two funds advised by DRC Capital. Paul Hastings’ team included finance partner James Taylor, tax partner Arun Birla and real estate partner Mark Shepherd.

The major deal for the UK entertainment industry follows the sale of Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group to private equity firm Terra Firma for $1.2bn last month. Osborne Clarke acted for the management of Odeon, while Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partners Charlie Geffen and Nigel Stacey led for long-time client Terra Firma on the deal.