Pinewood Studios is pulling out of Fayette, selling its stake to local partner

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Studios and production centers remain; only the ‘Pinewood’ part will change; 2 businesses going in different directions — 

UPDATED — Pinewood Studios UK said Wednesday it has sold its ownership in Pinewood Studios Atlanta to the Fayetteville facility’s joint venture partner, River’s Rock, a trust set up by Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A and a resident of Fayette County.

The UK-headquartered company said the transition will take place over the next 18 months.

One report stated that the change was not triggered by Georgia’s controversial anti-abortion law, known as the Heartbeat Bill.

Instead the UK company indicated the move was an acknowledgement that the Fayette studios group had refocused its business strategy on investment in content creation companies, while the UK firm intends to remain primarily in the studio infrastructure rental business.

“As our partners in Atlanta look to expand their focus and invest in content development, we have agreed to sell our equity in the Studios,” said Pinewood Group chairman Paul Golding. “Pinewood will continue to prioritize its core business of providing studio infrastructure, including extensive growth plans in the U.K. and expansion in key international markets.”

Frank Patterson is the president of the local facility and is expected to remain in that role.

Patterson was quoted as saying the studio has “some exciting investments in the pipeline on the content-creation side of the business.”

<b>Pinewood President Frank Patterson.</b>
Pinewood President Frank Patterson.

The studio complex off Sandy Creek Road is now the second-largest purpose-built film and video facility in the U.S.

Movie and other commercial productions now underway at Pinewood Atlanta are expected to continue without interruption.

Still to be decided: With “Pinewood” out of the picture, what will be the name of the remaining business?

Here’s the news release from Pinewood UK:

Pinewood Group today announced it has sold its equity in Pinewood Atlanta Studios to its joint venture partner in Atlanta. This move comes as Frank Patterson, President of the Studios in Atlanta, has started investing in content companies, while Pinewood Group continues to focus on studio infrastructure. Pinewood will provide sales and marketing support for the Studios in Atlanta for a period of up to 18 months. The Studios will remain branded and operated as a Pinewood facility during this time.

Paul Golding, Chairman of Pinewood Group Limited, said: “Pinewood is known across the world as a leading-provider of studio space and over the last six years, Pinewood Atlanta Studios has become the second largest purpose-built facility in the US. As our partners in Atlanta look to expand their focus and invest in content development, we have agreed to sell our equity in the Studios. Pinewood will continue to prioritise its core business of providing studio infrastructure, including extensive growth plans in the UK and expansion in key international markets.”

This announcement will have no impact on productions shooting at the Studios, which will continue to be led by Frank Patterson.

“The Pinewood Group has been a great partner, building the best facilities in the world for us in Atlanta,” said Frank Patterson, President of Pinewood Atlanta Studios. “I came on two years ago to build content opportunities at the same time the Pinewood Group changed ownership and decided to focus on providing studio accommodation. We’ve got some exciting investments in the pipeline on the content creation side of the business so this a truly great time for the industry in Atlanta. I would like to thank Pinewood Group for all they’ve done and how they have helped make Atlanta a world leader in film and digital production.”

This move is one in a series of business decisions made this year as part of Pinewood’s strategy to focus on the UK and other international markets. This includes Pinewood Group expanding its Shepperton Studios, a move that will see Shepperton become the second largest studio in the world. The modernisation and expansion of the iconic studios will include up to an additional 530,000 sq.ft of sound stage space.

Here’s the news release from Frank Patterson’s office at 10:30 Wednesday morning:

Pinewood Group Refocuses International Strategy

London, 21st August 2019: Pinewood Group today announced it has sold its equity in Pinewood Atlanta Studios to its joint venture partner in Atlanta. This move comes as Frank Patterson, President of the Studios in Atlanta, has started investing in content companies, while Pinewood Group continues to focus on studio infrastructure. Pinewood will provide sales and marketing support for the Studios in Atlanta for a period of up to 18 months. The Studios will remain branded and operated as a Pinewood facility during this time.

Paul Golding, Chairman of Pinewood Group Limited, said: “Pinewood is known across the world as a leading-provider of studio space and over the last six years, Pinewood Atlanta Studios has become the second largest purpose-built facility in the US. As our partners in Atlanta look to expand their focus and invest in content development, we have agreed to sell our equity in the Studios. Pinewood will continue to prioritise its core business of providing studio infrastructure, including extensive growth plans in the UK and expansion in key international markets.”

This announcement will have no impact on productions shooting at the Studios, which will continue to be led by Frank Patterson.

“The Pinewood Group has been a great partner, building the best facilities in the world for us in Atlanta,” said Frank Patterson, President of Pinewood Atlanta Studios. “I came on two years ago to build content opportunities at the same time the Pinewood Group changed ownership and decided to focus on providing studio accommodation. We’ve got some exciting investments in the pipeline on the content creation side of the business so this a truly great time for the industry in Atlanta. I would like to thank Pinewood Group for all they’ve done and how they have helped make Atlanta a world leader in film and digital production.”

This move is one in a series of business decisions made this year as part of Pinewood’s strategy to focus on the UK and other international markets. This includes Pinewood Group expanding its Shepperton Studios, a move that will see Shepperton become the second largest studio in the world. The modernisation and expansion of the iconic studios will include up to an additional 530,000 sq.ft of sound stage space.

About Pinewood Group

The Pinewood Studios Group is the leading provider of studio and related services to the global film and television industry. Founded in 1936 and headquartered in the United Kingdom, Pinewood has helped create some of the big and small screen’s most treasured productions, among them 158 Oscar winners, 215 BAFTA winners and numerous blockbuster film productions with budgets of over $100 million. In the past year alone, our UK-based studios have been home to many highly-acclaimed productions such as: Rocketman, Bond 25, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Dumbo, Mary Poppins Returns, Mary Queen of Scots and Star Wars.

Pinewood Studios entrance with Soundstage 2 in background. Photo/Marie Thomas.
Pinewood Studios entrance with Soundstage 2 in background. Photo/Marie Thomas.