Ardmore studios in Bray has been put up for sale.
According to the Irish Independent the studios are being sold due to increasing competition from rivals.
The majority shareholders in the company – former accountant for U2 Ossie Kilkenny, and the band’s former manager Paul McGuinness – have owned the studios for nearly 30 years.
IBI Corporate Finance is acting for Ardmore in the sale process. The asking price has not been disclosed, however, it would be expected to fetch at least €10m.
The 18-acre site in Bray has seen around €2m investment in recent years to enhance its facilities and has recorded a profit of €1.6m last year.
Ardmore Studios, which opened in 1958, says it is the only media hub in Ireland capable of providing production, post-production and support services for full-length feature films and TV productions.
The studios have been home to a number of high-profile productions in the past – including Oscar winner Braveheart; My Left Foot; and more recently, Moone Boy.
Productions currently on site include The Professor and The Madman, and Into the Badlands, while in its statement the company claims a “healthy number of potential productions are in the pipeline for the coming months and year ahead”.
Ardmore has operated at an average annual capacity of 85-90% since 2013.
Earlier this year it also expanded its studio footprint and opened The Film Factory, a 47,000 sq ft facility in Bray to provide additional studio space to cater for market demand.
Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has expressed his shock at the news that Ardmore Studios in Bray is to be sold.
Teachta Brady said:
“Ardmore Studios are internationally renowned as Ireland’s leading provider of film and TV studio infrastructure.
“The Studios are highly regarded by the community in Bray and has been home to hundreds of national and international film and TV productions since it was established in 1958.
“While I accept that the news of this sale comes with an assurance that it will not impact on the day to day running of the studios this provides little comfort.
“Last year it emerged that a stakeholder in Ardmore Studios had expressed considerable disquiet at plans for key directors in Ardmore to set up a rival studio in Limerick putting both studios in direct competition.
“I believe that the development in Limerick is at an advanced stage and this may raise these past concerns again.
“I am aware that Ardmore Studios are in advanced planning stages with some expansion completed as recently as this year and further expansion to follow.
“I will do everything within my power to ensure that the valuable site at Ardmore is protected and that zoning remains in place solely for the expansion of film and TV production only.
“I met with Ardmore Studios last year and I fully intend to meet with them on this matter as soon as possible. Any threat to such a significant media hub is of national concern and will be of grave concern particularly, to the people of Bray.”