Ireland’s Ardmore Studios, Home To ‘Braveheart’ & ‘Penny Dreadful’, Up For Sale

Diana Lodderhose
Deadline

Ireland’s renowned Ardmore Studios, which has housed projects including Braveheart, My Left Foot and more recently Showtime’s The Tudors and Penny Dreadful, is up for sale.

The hub, which is situated on 18 acres in Bray, County Wicklow, provides production, postproduction and support services for full-length features and TV productions across facilities spanning 170,000 square feet and comprises seven sound stages ranging from 3,000-23,000 square feet.

Current productions on site include Mel Gibson and Sean Penn starrer The Professor And The Madman, about the invention of the Oxford English Dictionary, and AMC’s Into The Badlands.

Majority shareholders Ossie Kilkenny and Paul McGuinness, who have owned Ardmore for almost 30 years, and original shareholder Enterprise Ireland believe the time is right for the sale. The studio recorded a profit before tax of €1.5 million ($1.6 million) in 2014 and €1.6M ($1.75M) in 2015 and has seen demand for full studio services operate an an average 85%-90% since 2013. Over the last three years, the directors have invested more than €2M ($2.2M) into the studios to enhance and upgrade its on-site facilities and, in 2016, it expanded its studio footprint to open a 47,000-square-foot facility, dubbed The Film Factory, nearby in Bray to meet market demand.

The sale will have no impact on the day-to-day operations of the studios, said the owners. Ireland’s favorable Section 481 tax incentive scheme, upped from 28% to 32% last year, is sure to make this an attractive investment.

Established in 1958, Ardmore is the largest and only studio in Ireland to offer seven international-standard sound stages. Additional productions that have shot at the studio include Excalibur and Chris O’Dowd-starrer Moone Boy.

IBI Corporate Finance is acting for Ardmore in the sale process.

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