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Last Updated: Friday, 1 April, 2005, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Pinewood buys Teddington Studios
Ricky Gervais
Teddington has played host to hit shows such as The Office
Pinewood Shepperton, home to the Harry Potter and James Bond films, has bought Teddington Studios, another famous name of the UK film and TV industry.

Teddington hosted films starring the likes of Errol Flynn before becoming Thames TV's studios in the 1960s.

More recently it has been run as a production centre providing facilities for hit TV shows, including The Office.

Pinewood described the 2.7m ($5m) buy as a "natural extension" to its current television and sound services business.

Administrators were appointed to run Teddington Studios after key contracts were not renewed. Its purchase by Pinewood safeguards the jobs of 55 staff.

As part of the 2.7m package, Pinewood also bought The Studio Broadcasting Company for 100,000. It provides cable and satellite services at Teddington.

Tax loophole

Teddington, based in south-west London, posted an operating loss of 9,000 in the year to 30 April 2004 on the back of turnover of 8.3m.

"This is an exciting opportunity for Pinewood Shepperton and is in line with our long term strategy to diversify our revenue streams in our integrated media businesses," said Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of Pinewood Shepperton.

Earlier this month, shares in Pinewood Shepperton fell after the firm warned that first-half profits would be hit by delays to key productions.

Last year, the government cracked down on a tax loophole within the film tax credit and suggested its abolition, deterring some US film investors.

In the Budget, the government extended the tax credit system, news which is expected to help Pinewood's results in the second half of its financial year.

Pinewood Shepperton was formed after a management team bought Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire from the Rank Group in 2000. It then bought Shepperton Studios in February 2001.

It said merging the new studios with its existing businesses would mean costs of 1.3m in this year's accounts.

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