Michael Grade and Ridley and Tony Scott are to join forces in running a UK super studio facility combining Pinewood Studios and Shepperton Studios, if current proposals from Grade get the go-ahead.

Grade, who became chairman of Pinewood in February after buying the operation from Rank for $93m (£62m), confirmed he is close to merging the two studios to create a single company. The combined operation would be worth about $180m (£120m).

A deal could be finalised this month, depending on whether private equity company Candover agrees to sell it majority holding in Shepperton. Candover took over Shepperton in 1995 with a consortium including the Scott brothers.

"I can confirm our interest but I also believe two American companies are not far behind us," Grade said.

Assuming Grade's proposed deal goes ahead, Pinewood is expected to absorb special effects facility The Mill, which is 40% owned by Shepperton Holdings and 60% by parties including its management and pop group U2. The Scotts would take senior positions at the new operation.

Grade declined to comment on how the two studios would co-exist as one company other than to say that the Shepperton and Pinewood "brands" would be kept distinct. He maintained that it was hard for any one studio to function at more than 85% capacity.

"If we have three spare sound stages and a production wants to shoot, sod's law, they will want four," he explained.

Grade said that the UK faced increasing competition for large-scale productions from studio facilities in countries such as Australia, the Czech Republic, Spain and Canada.

"The British film industry has always suffered from fragmentation," he added. "If we are going to have a substantial UK film production base, it is time we had a little consolidation."