The UK's largest studio player, Pinewood SheppertonPLC, has acquired Teddington Studios, it was announced to the London stockmarket today (April 1.)

Pinewood Shepperton has bought Teddington Studios Limited,which is currently in administration, and the entire share capital of TheStudio Broadcasting Company Limited (SBC) for £2.7m.

Teddington, which is based in south west London, has a longhistory of film production stretching back to the silent era. It was WarnerBros' UK base in the 1930s. Stars such as Rex Harrison and Errol Flynnmade movies at Teddington. In the late 1950s, Teddington was re-customised as aTV studios. In recent years, it has housed some of the UK's top comedyshows, The Office, My Hero and HarryHill among them.

The acquisition comes at a time when British studios arebeginning to feel the pinch as a result of the widespread uncertaintysurrounding the future of UK tax breaks. In late March, shares in PinewoodShepperton fell by 13%.

Pinewood Shepperton, which has housed the Harry Potter and James Bond films, is also facing stiff competition from cheaper locations inEastern Europe to attract big budget movies to its studios.

Pinewood Shepperton clearly sees its latest acquisition as away to diversify and strengthen its presence in the television and soundservices business.

In a statement, Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive of PinewoodShepperton plc, commented:

"This is an exciting opportunity for PinewoodShepperton and is in line with our long term strategy to diversify our revenuestreams in our integrated media businesses. Teddington Studios and SBC,combined with our existing business in television and sound services,significantly enhances our presence in the marketplace. We will beworking closely with the management of Teddington Studios and SBC to maximisethe benefit of our enlarged television and sound services activities."