Both Ardmore Studios in Bray and Limerick’s Troy Studios have been sold to a consortium led by Hackman Capital Partners, owner of US film studio Culver City and billions of dollars of facilities in Europe and America.
The deal is understood to value the combined business including properties at between €60m and €80m.
Both Irish studios will continue to operate with their existing branding, with CEO Elaine Geraghty and the staff at both facilities remaining unchanged, the companies said in a statement on Friday.
Ardmore Studios and Troy Studios CEO Elaine Geraghty said the deal will bring new opportunities for cinema in Ireland, 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,” she said.
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 newer Troy Studios in Limerick, has been used to film Netflix series Nightflyers, in a huge former factory close to the university that 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.
The owners of Troy, led by Ion Equity chief Joe Devine, bought Ardmore in 2018 from backers including former U2 manager Paul McGuinness and Enterprise Ireland. Businessman Ossie Kilkenny, a long time Ardmore shareholder stayed on as an investor after that deal as did then CEO Siún Ní Raghallaigh.
Now chair of both Troy Studios and Ardmore Studios, Joe Devine, said the group had overseen a €30m investment programme.
He said the sale, following an approach, could really transform the outlook for the two studios and the wider industry in Ireland.
Buyers Hackman and its affiliate The MBS Group, and Square Mile Capital Management, between them own the world’s largest independent studio and media portfolio, which now 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.