Pinewood, others nearing control of Filmport

Toronto City Council approves restructuring plan

TORONTO -- A consortium led by Britain's Pinewood Studios Group has moved a step closer to taking control of Toronto studio facility Filmport.

On Monday night, Toronto City Council voted 31-7 in favor of a restructuring plan that will see the city take a 20% stake in Filmport and secure a seat on its board of directors.

Toronto already is Filmport's landlord, via a 99-year lease with the studio complex.

Also taking stakes in Filmport are Pinewood's longtime local partner, Toronto real estate developer Castlepoint Development, and ROI Capital, a pension fund investor tied to Canadian actors union ACTRA. Studio founder Rose Corp. is in the process of unloading its majority share in the studio.

The city of Toronto said it will not release the deal points on the Filmport transaction until all the new management partners, including Pinewood, sign off.

Pinewood is expected to manage Filmport as part of a five-year deal that includes the promotion of its seven sound stages in Los Angeles and London.

Recent projects on Filmport stages include the Liam Neeson starrer "Chloe" from director Atom Egoyan, Universal Pictures' "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" and "Warehouse 13," the NBC/Universal TV series.
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