Fresh Bidder in Frame for Pinewood Shepperton

The U.K. studio facilities empire is in line for sale.

LONDON – U.K. studio facilities group Pinewood Shepperton, listed here on the stock exchange, told the market that a new bidder has appeared in the ether looking for a piece of the action.

The facilities giant said in a statement to the market that the board “has received a further approach from an unconnected third party which also may or may not lead to an offer being made for the Company.”

The fresh interest comes just two weeks after the group’s largest single stakeholder, Peel Holdings, made a move to snap up the entire stock valuing the company at £87.8 million ($143.5 million).

"A further announcement will be made in due course," the firm said.

Peel Holdings offered 190p per share for the 75 year old studio complex.

J.P Morgan is handling the approaches on behalf of the facilities operator.

During 2010, Pinewood played host to the fourth installment 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 posted a 31 percent rise in pre-tax profits to £5.8 million ($9.5 million), and told the market it was looking to the future with "confidence" despite a poor economic climate.

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

The company will target films with production budgets of about £2 million ($3.3 million) each and will invest equity up to 20 percent per film.