In huge news for the Irish film industry, Ardmore Studios in Bray and Troy Studios in Limerick have been sold by Olcott Entertainment to US consortium Hackman Capital Partners, Square Mile Capital and The MBS Group. The deal is understood to value the combined business including properties at between €60m and €80m.
The consortium currently own the world’s largest independent studio and media portfolio, which includes approximately €3.6bn of media real estate assets and exclusively services over 360 sound stages within its MBS Group network of 65+ locations across 46 cities and four countries. The largest of these is Culver City in Los Angeles.
Both Ardmore and Troy studios will continue to operate with their existing branding, with CEO Elaine Geraghty – who started last year after stewarding Screen Producers IrelandScreen Producers Ireland (SPI) is a members organisation that promotes the growth and sustainability of the Irish audiovisual production sector. More – remaining in place, as well as the staff at both facilities remaining unchanged.
Their industry acumen and global footprint will preserve the legacy of the Studios as well as ensure the continued success of Ireland’s two most significant studios.
Ireland has a long history of filmmaking and today’s announcement solidifies the ambition of the industry, and will bring new opportunities in line with the Government ambition to establish Ireland as a global hub for the production of film, TV drama and animation.
We compete globally to attract inward productions and valuable investment to Ireland and today’s announcement is momentous to enable further growth of the industry in Ireland.
Elaine Geraghty, CEO – Ardmore and Troy Studios
Ardmore Studios is Ireland’s best known movie and TV facility, with a long history of film and TV hits including recent productions ranging from Dancing with the Stars for RTE to the Tudors and Penny Dreadful.
The more recently established Troy Studios in Limerick, has been used to film Netflix series Nightflyers, in a huge former factory close to the University of Limerickthat was first adapted for artistic events during the 2014 City of Culture. It is now Ireland’s largest studio complex, offering 100,000 sq ft of stage space and a further 250,000 sq ft for production support, including the largest sound stages in the country. Apple’s latest sci-fi series Foundation completed production on its first season in the facility earlier this year and is expected to return for season 2.
Screen IrelandFís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry., the State’s film, TV and animated production agency, reported on July 15, 2021 that this year is set to break production activity records despite the disruption of Covid-19, with the sector’s economic contribution already estimated to be €289m from 37 Irish and international productions; on track to beat the previous production contribution record of €358m reached before the pandemic in 2019.
Screen Ireland’s priority is to support Irish creative screen talent and to invest in uniquely Irish stories that connect with international audiences all over the world. We welcome the international investment in Ireland’s studios infrastructure announced today and we look forward to new opportunities for Irish industry professionals as the industry continues to grow and recover from the pandemic.
New studio investment will also create more job opportunities for Irish crew and Screen Ireland is committed to identifying and addressing key skills gaps for the industry, supporting Irish creative talent and crew on local and international productions, with a strong focus on regional development, diversity and inclusion.
Screen Ireland statement
Michael Hackman, CEO Hackman Capital Partners said Ireland is a superb destination for production, with the richness of its natural landscape, it’s indigenous content industry and it’s skilled production crews.
We look forward to building upon this great history and are committed to growing both indigenous and international production activity in Ireland, by investing in and forging strong links with local talent and communities and by promoting further inward investment from international content creators.
Michael Hackman, CEO Hackman Capital Partners
Craig Soloman, CEO Square Mile Capital said the extraordinary global growth in demand for high quality studio facilities and services continues unabated.
Our partnership remains focused on opportunities to participate in the growth in this sector, on behalf of our investors. We are excited to grow our platform by establishing a presence in Ireland, which we view as a premier and growing global production market. While we have now established strong presences in several of the world’s top production centers, we will continue to look for additional opportunities.
Craig Soloman, CEO Square Mile Capital
Joe Devine, chairman of both Troy Studios and Ardmore Studios congratulated Hackman Capital Partners on their acquisition and wished them every success in the coming years.
When we were approached, we realised that this could really transform the outlook not just for the two studios but for the wider industry in Ireland. When we began this journey in 2016, we had ambitious plans to establish world class production facilities here in Ireland and create the market leader through acquisition and development.
After a successful €30m company investment programme we have achieved our objective and are delighted that a global leader like HCP will continue developing the studios. The industry is transforming before our eyes and HCP will ensure that Troy and Ardmore – and Ireland – can take full advantage of that transformation.
Joe Devine, Chairman – Troy Studios and Ardmore Studios