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CinemaNX in talks to merge into Pinewood Shepperton

UPDATED: The Isle of Man government is in negotations to acquire a 19.9% stake in Pinwood Shepperton, whilst Pinewood would advise on film investment opportunities for the Isle of Man’s £25m Media Development Fund.

Isle of Man and London based financing and distribution company CinemaNX is in talks to merge into Pinewood and Shepperton.

As part of the potential deal, the Isle of Man government would acquire a 19.9% stake in Pinewood Shepperton.

Pinewood would also advise Isle of Man government on film investment opportunities for its £25 million Media Development Fund (MDF), managed by CinemaNX, for an initial five years.

The agreement is subject to parliamentary approval from the Isle of Man, with the committee due to meet on June 19.

If it goes through, the core team from CinemaNX - headed up by chairman Steve Christian - would join Pinewood, although they plan to remain in their central London office. Christian told Screen that the company’s “finance, co-finance and distribution elements” would merge into Pinewood.

The new agreement would also mean that the restriction to shoot on the Isle of Man would be lifted. “It would widen our reach. We turn away so many investment opportunities because we are restricted to shooting on the island. But the focus will still be on keeping the camera pointed on the island, and we have three or four projects which are certainly going to shoot on the Isle of Man,” said Christian.

“Pinewood brings the quality of a superbrand and a lot of management that we haven’t got. To have that support would be one huge asset for us,” added Christian.

CInemaNX has been managing the Isle of Man’s Media Development Fund, which provides equity investment to film and TV productions shooting on the island, since 2007, as part of a five year deal which runs out in August.

The Isle Of Man has invested £170m in 97 productions since 1995, with recent investments including TT3D, The Disappearance Of Alice Creed and the upcoming Honour starring Paddy Considine.

Last month it was revealed that Marc Samuelson had left CinemaNX after five years as a partner in the company to set up his own production outfit.

Eddie Teare, treasury minister of the Isle of Man Government said: “Building partnerships is becoming increasingly important for the film and television industry. Developing an investment strategy with an established partner which has an international reputation in film and television and in bringing production to the UK, will help the Island to build further upon the success that it has achieved in what is a growth sector for the world economy. It is a sector in which the Isle of Man must strive to build a significant presence.”

 

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