Mohammed Al-Fayed in Pinewood bid

Egyptian businessman aims to move into the movie business.

by Jennie Kermode

The identity of the mystery bidder behind recent moves to buy out Pinewood Studios was revealed today. Mohammed Al-Fayed's as-yet-unofficial statement of interest puts him into competition with rival bidder Peel Holdings and looks likely to trigger a bidding war that could raise the studio's share prices. Pinewood, home of the Harry Potter films, is currently valued at around £100M

This is not the first time Al-Fayed has shown an interest in the film business. Along with his now deceased son, Dodi, he was the owner of Allied Stars, the production company being Chariots Of Fire, for which Dodi won a Best Picture Oscar. More recently, Al-Fayed has been involved in the production of Diana, a film charting the last days in the lives of his son and the former Princess of Wales. Unlikely to get distribution in Britain and facing accusations of insensitivity because of its release elsewhere so close to the Royal wedding, Diana will be shown unofficially at the forthcoming Cannes Film Festival.

Al-Fayed has spoken of his desire to restore Pinewood to its former glory by investing heavily in improving its technological abilities. The studio has so far declined to comment.

Share this with others on...

Decisive moments Evelyn Schels on Marina Abramovic, Sigalit Landau, Shirin Neshat and Katharina Sieverding in Body Of Truth

Sense memories Robert Tinnell on Feast Of The Seven Fishes and family memories

Keeping his word Michael Apted in conversation on 63 Up

Talking about juxtapositions Thom Powers on dreams, fashion, identity, nature and bright spotlights in DOC NYC

Dedicated to DA Pennebaker Thom Powers on Martin Scorsese, Michael Apted, the Masters and Winner’s Circle in the tenth edition

EIFF goes coastal Free Film Fest on the Forth announced

More news and features

We're bring you coverage of the London Korean Film Festival and DOC NYC and the French Film Festival.

We're looking forward to Tallinn Black Nights and Welsh horror festival Abertoir.

We've recently been at the Valencia Film Festival, New York's NewFest, the Cambridge Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff, Manchester's Grimmfest, the Scottish Queer International Film Festival and the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


More competitions coming soon.