Olcott Entertainment Limited announces acquisition of Ardmore Studios Limited.
Friday 23rd March: Olcott Entertainment Limited (Olcott) has completed the acquisition of Ireland’s leading film studios, Ardmore Studios Ltd (Ardmore Studios/Ardmore) located in Bray, Co. Wicklow. Under the deal, Olcott has acquired the full share capital of Ardmore Studios International Ltd (which owned 68% of the share capital of Ardmore Studios Limited) and the acquisition of a separate shareholding in Ardmore Studios Limited which was owned by Enterprise Ireland. The purchase price is not being disclosed. IBI Corporate Finance advised the selling shareholders. Ion Equity advised Olcott.
Established in 1958, Ardmore is the only studio in Ireland to offer seven international standard sound stages with full support facilities on site. A brand that is recognised by producers throughout the world, it has been home to hundreds of international and national films and TV productions over the years including Braveheart; My left Foot; Excalibur and in more recent times The Tudors; Moone Boy and Penny Dreadful. Productions at Ardmore have received 14 Oscars and many BAFTA, Golden Globe and Emmy awards. Ardmore is currently home to a number of productions including US TV series Into the Badlands, RTE’s Dancing with the Stars and feature films The Rhythm Section and The Turning. Ardmore has benefited from a significant investment programme in recent years to enhance its facilities.
The Olcott acquisition is led by Joe Devine. He is a co-founder of leading investment company Ion Equity.
Speaking today, Joe said that he was delighted to have successfully concluded the acquisition of Ardmore Studios; “Our interest in the sector is against a backdrop of significant global demand for content and thus for production facilities. The drive for more content is fuelled by “big screen” film, increasingly “on demand TV” and the gaming industry. When coupled with Ireland having one of the more attractive incentive schemes in the world, it makes Ardmore an attractive asset. We have ambitious plans for the business and believe this heralds a new era for these historic studios.”
Joe confirmed that that Olcott plans to retain Ardmore’s employees and that Siún Ní Raghallaigh will remain as CEO of the company.
Speaking today, Ms. Ní Raghallaigh said; “This is a very positive development for everybody associated with Ardmore and for the broader production sector in Ireland. Quality film studios ensure that the industry in Ireland will scale up and provide significant employment. Olcott has ambitious plans to invest in and to develop the facilities in Ardmore which will ensure that it will continue to compete at the heart of the international film and TV production market.”
An Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board also welcomes the news of the acquisition of Ardmore Studios by Olcott Limited. It states: “The Studios continue to represent a vitally important part of the infrastructure of the Irish film industry. It is very heartening to hear about the commitment of the new owners to their investment in and the development of these historic studios.”