One of the UK’s leading TV production companies, Bad Wolf, is for sale.
Based in Cardiff at its Wolf Studios Wales, where top productions such as His Dark Materials and A Discovery of Witches are filmed, it is understood that the sale process is reduced to two final bidders, with Bad Wolf valued at around 50 million pounds sterling.
The company was founded in 2015 by former BBC executives Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter.
They hold the majority of the company’s capital, with a 24.9% stake in Access Entertainment, a division of Access Industries owned by industrialist Len Blavatnik. Media giants Sky and HBO both have a 5% stake in Bad Wolf.
It’s unclear whether HBO or Sky will bid to acquire the company, or if the current directors could retain a stake after a deal.
The sales process is overseen by GCA Advisors, according to the publication Broadcast.
As well as bringing top-notch productions to Wales, the directors of Bad Wolf have played a key role in promoting Wales’ wider creative industries sector to the world. They have also ensured a much wider economic impact for the Welsh economy of Bad Wolf’s productions by championing a strong indigenous supply chain.
However, an acquisition raises the question of hiring a new owner to keep Wolf Studios Wales running. Could they, for example, choose to move productions to lower cost locations or those offering more generous filming incentives like Romania?
Bad Wolf declined to comment when asked if the business is for sale.
The freehold interest in Wolf Studios Wales, on the site of the former Nippon glass factory in Cardiff Bay, belongs to the Welsh government, with Bad Wolf on a long-term lease.
Bad Wolf is currently in post-production for the next series of Discovery for Witches, with filming in progress including that of the next series of His Dark Materials and Industry.
Its latest published accounts, for the year ended December 2019, show the company to generate revenue of Â£ 90million and pre-tax profit of Â£ 2.8million.
The company employs around 500 people. In 2019 it was named the fastest growing indigenous company in Wales under the Wales Fast Growth 50 initiative.