Statement posted on the Twickenham Film Studios website:
6 June 2012 Statement by Gerald M Krasner of Begbies Traynor, joint administrator of Twickenham Film Studios Ltd:
“The joint administrators are pleased to announce that following the re-marketing of the Studios, a successful bidder has been found. Sixty-two confidentiality letters were sent out, of which 21 were returned, and these all received sales packs.
“A number of offers were received and on Friday, 1 June 2012, contracts were exchanged with a third party to acquire the Studios as a going concern, retaining all of the staff. A 10% deposit has been paid to the joint administrators’ solicitors and it is envisaged that completion will take place later this year. At this stage, the purchaser wishes to remain anonymous and further details will be released after completion.”
Any party requiring further details should contact Gerald Krasner on 07836 607 782 or email Gerald.Krasner@begbies-traynor.com
Mystery bidder pulls out at the last minute!
Today it was announced that the mystery bidder has pulled out of the deal with their identity still under wraps. Gerald Krasner, of Begbies Traynor, joint administrator of Twickenham Film Studios, said he could not say why the company had pulled out, but he could confirm it was not for financial reasons.
The purchaser had put forward a £100,000 deposit, which it has lost, and Mr Krasner has said the money would be used to help maintain the site as it is.
Mr Krasner was adamant the studios would not be sold for property development, which was previously feared by campaign group, Save Twickenham Film Studios (STFS).
Mr Krasner said: “If I believe something, I will go on the record and say it and I am confident that a sale will be made, ultimately keeping it as studios.”
The exclusivity period for the purchase of the site ended on Wednesday, May 23, and the potential purchaser pulled out on Friday, May 18.
Mr Krasner said: “The aim is now to remarket the business to all those who have previously expressed an interest in the site and business.”
The joint administrators have prepared a sales pack that will be issued to any interested party on completion of a confidentiality statement. There are 45 bidders for the site.
Is this too good to be true?
Within a few days of Taylor Wimpey withdrawing their bid for the studio an anonymous bidder has stepped into the arena from nowhere and handed over a cool non refundable £100K as a down payment on the condition that they complete by the 23rd May. We are told that they want to keep it as a studio, which is great but why all the secrecy?
If you are the bidder and you are following our website please make contact. We will guarantee your anonymity if you are genuinely intent on maintaining the site as a film studio.
In the meantime, as we do not have any assurances I suggest that the campaign does not lose momentum. Continue to spread the word and protest. We've won the first battle but the war is most definitely not over!
We have no time to waste!
Twickenham Film studios has gone into administration and word has it that property developers are moving in.
Please sign our petition to help stop the developers in their tracks!! We don't need more executive homes!
Twickenham has been at the forefront of the British film industry for 99 years - let's help it make to 100 and beyond. Spread the word.... Re-tweet and post on your Facebook. We need to get this out to as many people as possible. Films like The Iron Lady, War Horse, Ghandi, Italian Job, Shirley Valentine, Help, Hard Day's Night, An American Werewolf in London and many many more have been made here. It's a National Treasure!!
Click here to sign the petition
On 19th April 2012 a creditors meeting was held at the Studios, at which all the proposals put forward by the joint administrators, including those for a CVA were approved by the requisite majority of creditors. Discussions were also held with the proposed purchaser who was having a meeting with the local Council and following that meeting it became apparent that there were problems in getting the appropriate change of use unless there was a general marketing campaign to sell the site for the continuing use as studios. Since that date the joint administrators have had discussions with two interested parties and on Tuesday 24th April, 2012 an agreement was reached with the higher bidder whereby they paid a non-returnable deposit of £100,000 to buy a period of exclusivity for four weeks, during which exchange of contracts will take place. The joint administrators can confirm that this deposit has been received but the new proposed purchaser has requested anonymity until such time as the contracts have been exchanged. it is the purchaser`s intention to continue to trade as studios and to preserve all the jobs. Please contact administrator Gerald Krasner at Begbies Traynor on Mbl: 07836-607782 with any queries on this press release.
‘I have done a deal with an un-named party that will allow the property to continue as a film studio. The party has paid an non-returnable 100K deposit. Name of party to be announced on exchange, expected to be 4 weeks’
Let's not get too excited until we know the deal.
Gerald Krasner promised a press release next week but spoke to us just before the Creditors' meeting.
He revealed that the owners of the Studios "had not necessarily marketed" it in the first place as a film studios but as valuable land for development, worth millions more.
He told us the people who own the Studios are "not UK residents" and want to get the maximum amount for the site, regardless of the views of Richmond Council and local residents - "the owners don't care if it is kept as film Studios", he said, acknowledging that this might be "morally repugnant."
He gave an example where, if he could sell for twice as much "to people the locals don't like" that's what he would do. Incidentally he has put the cost of the land, flattened for development,at as much as £9 million - but acknowleges that - as Studios - the site is worth a few millions less.
“We have engaged with the owners and a number of stakeholders, including professionals from the film industry, in regard to the Twickenham Film Studios site.
A number of opportunities to redevelop the site have been explored with the understanding that Twickenham Film Studios was not viable in its current form. We have recently been advised that a number of potential bids have come forward to run the studios as a going concern. Should these bids be successful we consider this to be the most preferable option. As a responsible developer who is committed to working with the local community and stakeholders, we have decided to formally withdraw our bid for this site.”
Good news people. Taylor Wimpey have withdrawn their bid! On Monday, the latest member of our team Lynn Faulds Wood met with the CEO Pete Redfern and explained our case. He said that TW would hold back and give the studios a chance to run as a viable company and true to his word it was announced at the creditors meeting that Wimpey were pulling out for the meantime at least. We also had a meeting with the Administrator who informed us that he is issuing a press release next week. So we've done the easy bit, now we have to get those bidders pouring through the door. In the meantime Twickenham's doors are open for bookings so book early to avoid disappointment!
Because the Chairman of Taylor Wimpey has said he will back off if there is a genuine bid to keep it as a film studio we have decided to delay the protest until we have more information. No contracts are going to be exchanged this week as we were told. But we are meeting with Gerald Krasner the administrator. If anyone is experienced in this field and would like to give us advice on what to ask please do feel free to drop us a line.
“My father, Richard has a long standing association with Twickenham Film Studio which goes back many decades. He cares passionately about the studio, and if he were well enough he would undoubtedly be out there spearheading the campaign and asking questions in The House of Lords. The world of cinema cannot afford to lose the oldest film studio in the country which is respected worldwide. David Cameron and George Osborne have recently stated how important the film industry is to the UK economy. On behalf of my father I urge them both to demonstrate this by asking why such a barbarous act of cultural vandalism could be about to happen?”
In a letter to Vince Cable, Jeremy Hunt writes: "due to an increasing workload as the 2012 Olympics approaches, the Department is unable to offer anyone a meeting to discuss the matter."
So if Mr Hunt wouldn't mind having a quick word with Krasner the administrator and Taylor Wimpey and tell them to back off until after the Olympics I'm sure he would then be all ears!
Richmond Council are being brilliant! I know we are not use to hearing statements like this but they are taking a very strong line with Taylor Wimpey. If you want to reinforce their policy please write to Mr Peter Redfern their chief executive officer. Don't email because it bounces back, so do it the old fashioned way and put pen to paper and tell him that Wimpey are not wanted in where Twickenham Studios currently reside. Click on the link below to see what the council are saying. Wimpey will get the message.