Egyptian-born billionaire businessman Mohamed Al Fayed is considering making an all-cash bid to buy the British film studio in which many of the James Bond movies were filmed.
The former Harrods owner spoke of his interest in the Pinewood Shepperton studio in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.
The speculation over the deal has caused Pinewood’s shares to swell 10.4 percent to 223 pence by 10:00 a.m. GMT, according to Reuters. The surge in the share price has given the Pinewood Shepperton studio a market capitalization of about $164.5 million.
In a statement the London exchange confirmed Mr. Al-Fayed’s interest but added, “there can be no certainty that an offer will be forthcoming.”
Pinewood, has already received a 190 pence-per-share takeover offer from Peel Holdings, valuing the company at £88 million ($145.4 million). Peel already owns 30 percent of Pinewood.
Filmed over the years in the Pinewood studios were the Bond films such as “The Spy Who Loved Me” in 1977, and “A View to Kill” in 1985.
The studios were also home to the shooting of the final Harry Potter film and the fourth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.
In 2010, Mr. Al Fayed sold the famous London department store, Harrods, to the investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. The deal was estimated to be worth £1.5 billion ($2.4 billion). Mr. Al Faye—a former brother-in-law of the Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi—waged a bitter public battle for control of Harrods with the late R. W. “Tiny” Rowland, former head of Lonrho.
Mr. Al Fayed’s current business interests include the London soccer club Fulham that he has owned since 1997.
(Eman El Shenawi of Al Arabiya can be reached at: email@example.com)