A European investment fund has emerged as a potential rival bidder for Pinewood Shepperton PLC (PWS.LN) following last month's recommended offer from Peel Holdings, the film studio's largest shareholder, valuing the business at GBP96.1 million, the Financial Times in London reported Saturday, without citing sources.
The mystery fund, which has not yet approached the board of Pinewood, is understood to have hired Zurich-based investment advisers Clariden Leu, and its interest may not necessarily lead to an offer, the FT added.
The board of Pinewood on Friday changed the structure of its recommended takeover from a scheme of arrangement, requiring approval from three-quarters of shareholders, to a straightforward takeover offer, which needs only 50.1% approval, the newspaper added.
Pinewood has irrevocable commitments from its directors, Crystal Amber fund, its second-largest shareholder, and Peel Holdings. Together they represent 63% of the total share capital.
Should the European fund make an offer at 250 pence or higher, Crystal Amber would be allowed to withdraw its support for Peel's offer.
Peel Holdings, which owns 29% of Pinewood, made an improved offer of 200 pence a share last month for the film studios following rival interest from Mohammed Fayed, former Harrods owner, the FT said.
Peel's original offer was 190 pence a share plus the dividend.
Peel and Pinewood and Fayed declined to comment, The FT added.