FSA ponders Pinewood delisting

The Financial Services Authority has told Pinewood Shepperton it is considering cancelling its listing on the London Stock Exchange as 98% of the film studios' shares are held by two parties – John Whittaker's Peel Group and Warren James Holdings.

Peel's cash offer for Pinewood closed on 8 July with Peel owning 71.06% and Stockport-based jeweller Warren James 27.05%. Peel needed more than 75% to take the business private. On 15 July Pinewood told the Financial Services Authority it no longer satisfied the free float requirement, as less than 25% was available for trading publicly.

On Wednesday, Pinewood issued a statement saying it "has been advised that the FSA is contemplating whether actions are warranted in connection with the future status of the company's listing on the London Stock Exchange."

The statement added: "[Pinewood] has further been advised that one option would be for the FSA to undertake a unilateral listing cancellation procedure in recognition of the fact that the company no longer meets the eligibility requirements for listing.

"The board is of the view that there is no realistic prospect of the free float requirement being restored. As a consequence the board intends to notify the FSA of its support for the proposal to undertake the unilateral listing cancellation procedure."

Pinewood said a further announcement will be made in due course. The FSA declined to comment.

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