Bell Media Buys Majority Interest in Pinewood Toronto Studios
TORONTO (March 29, 2018) – Bell Media announced today it has entered into an agreement for its Bell Media Studios division to acquire a majority stake in Pinewood Toronto Studios, in partnership with Comweb Studio Holdings, Castlepoint, and the City of Toronto. Pinewood Toronto Studios is one of the largest purpose-built production studios in Canada and the preferred choice for domestic and international producers of film and TV content in Toronto.
As a part of the transaction, Bell Media Studios Inc. will acquire a majority stake in the 33.5 acre (13.5 hectares) facility in Toronto’s Port Lands. The complex includes 11 purpose-built stages, including one of the largest sound stages in North America at 46,000 square foot (4,274 square metres), offices that can house multiple productions at a time, teaching facilities, and a variety of support services for a growing roster of domestic and international film and television clients.
Recent productions filming at Pinewood Toronto Studios include Star Trek: Discovery, Molly’s Game, Room, Suicide Squad, Spotlight, IT, Downsizing, Crimson Peak, and The Expanse. It has previously been home to Bell Media original productions including Orphan Black, The Listener, and Killjoys.
Nanci MacLean, Vice-President and Head of Bell Media Studios, will oversee operations at Pinewood Toronto Studios.
Pinewood Toronto Studios was represented by Deloitte Corporate Finance Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“The investment that Bell Media is making in Pinewood Toronto Studios and its expansion is significant and is proof of Bell Media’s commitment to our city and of its role as a world-class content creator,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “Toronto is home to industry-leading talent in the television and film production industry and as a city we are committed to supporting the growth of that industry at all levels and aspects of that production.”
“Our partnership to purchase Pinewood Toronto Studios reinforces Bell Media’s role as Canada’s leading content creation company,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “We’re excited about the synergies that Pinewood Toronto can offer and the role it will play in generating new revenue streams in an open-shop basis.”
“One of the most important things that creative communities need is space where they can take risks, pursue their creative visions, and create outstanding work,” said Alfredo Romano, President, Castlepoint Numa, and Director Pinewood Toronto Studios. “We see the enormous positive impact of television and film productions on our city every day and we look forward to continuing our city-building initiatives with Bell Media.”
“The addition of Pinewood Toronto Studios to our portfolio offers us an exciting new advantage in meeting the rising demand for original content across all media platforms,” said Bell Media Studio’s Nanci MacLean. “One of our first actions will be to add a further 170,000 square feet (51,793 square metres) of sound stages and support space, maintaining Pinewood Toronto Studios as a best-in-class film and TV studio.”
“Our Toronto studios are a film and television success story,” said Paul Bronfman, Chairman of Pinewood Toronto Studios. “We look forward to working with Randy and the Bell Media team to produce more high-calibre and innovative programming right here in Toronto and I’m sure that the ongoing sales and marketing support from Pinewood UK will continue to be a significant advantage for our business.”
“We welcome Bell Media to the Port Lands,” said Bill Bryck, a Director of Pinewood Toronto. “We’re looking forward to working with this collaborative partner – a proven international content creator – as they continue supporting our industry here in Toronto.”
About Bell Media
Bell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada’s most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.
About Pinewood Toronto Studios
Pinewood Toronto Studios is the destination facility for domestic and international film and TV producers shooting in Toronto. The contemporary 330,000 square foot (29,600 square metres) purpose-built production lot is located on a 33.5-acre (13.5 hectares) site, minutes from downtown Toronto. Its eleven stages, including one of North America’s largest purpose-built sound stages – the 46,000 sq. ft. (4,274 square metres) Mega Stage – are soundproofed, clear-span and equipped with power and supporting infrastructure to accommodate productions of all sizes and budgets.