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Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management have acquired two major film and television studios in Ireland: Ardmore Studios in Wicklow and Troy Studios in Limerick.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a source tells The Hollywood Reporter the price tag for both studios is around $100 million. Hackman Capital Partners and its affiliate The MBS Group, and Square Mile Capital Management, already run the world’s largest studio and media portfolio, which runs to over 360 soundstages within the MBS Group network of around 60 locations across 46 cities and four countries.
The Hackman Capital/Square Mile partnership will add Ardmore Studios and Troy Studios to their expanding global studio portfolio, while both Irish studios will continue to operate under their current brands, and with CEO Elaine Geraghty and staff at both facilities remaining on board.
The Irish studios have been purchased from Olcott Entertainment. Troy Studios offers 100,000 square feet of stage space and an additional 250,000 square feet of production support space. Ardmore Studios across 18 acres of land has 140,000 square feet of sound stages and another 160,000 square feet of support buildings.
Recent titles to have shot on the Irish soundstages include Ridley Scott’s historical epic The Last Duel, AppleTV+’s Foundation and Netflix’s Winx. The sale to the Hackman Capital/Square Mile partnership eases fears in the Irish film and TV industry that both studios would have been acquired by property developers and not continue as film studios.
“Ireland is a superb destination for production, with the richness of its natural landscape, its indigenous content industry and its skilled production crews. We look forward to building upon this great history and are committed to growing both indigenous and international production activity in Ireland, by investing in and forging strong links with local talent and communities and by promoting further inward investment from international content creators,” Michael Hackman, CEO of Hackman Capital Partners, said in a statement.
The Irish studios are also being touted by the Hackman Capital/Square Mile partnership for their close connections to Europe and EU soft money available for international co-productions, while also offering access to world-class crews and infrastructure in Ireland itself and additional studio space for content-creators adjoining the busy UK studio market.
“Ireland has a long history of filmmaking and today’s announcement solidifies the ambition of the industry, and will bring new opportunities in line with the government ambition to establish Ireland as a global hub for the production of film, TV drama and animation,” Ardmore Studios and Troy Studios CEO Elaine Geraghty added in a statement.
In July, Screen Ireland, the country’s film, TV and animated production agency, reported the EU-member country has set new production activity records despite the disruption of Covid-19 and Brexit, with the local film and TV sector’s economic contribution estimated at €289 million (US$340 million) from 37 Irish and international productions shot in the country so far this year.
Hackman Capital also acquired a stake in Raleigh Studios in Hollywood to take operational control of its 15 soundstages and production support space as part of a new venture with Raleigh Enterprises.
“We are excited to grow our platform by establishing a presence in Ireland, which we view as a premier and growing global production market. While we have now established strong presences in several of the world’s top production centers, we will continue to look for additional opportunities,” Craig Soloman, CEO of Square Mile Capital, said in his own statement.
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