Private Equity Firm Commits to Continuing Legacy of Venerable Hollywood Studio and Building Presence in Media
GI Partners announced today its acquisition of Sunset-Gower Studios in Hollywood, the original home of Columbia Pictures. GI Partners purchased the studio from The Pick-Vanoff Company, LLC, for an undisclosed amount. The deal closed on November 23, 2004.
The acquisition supports GI Partners' strategic goals of broadening its private equity and real estate portfolio into the media and entertainment space and building on its strong foundation of telecommunications and technology properties. "We are very excited about our acquisition of Sunset-Gower Studios, one of Hollywood's premier independent studios, and we are very bullish on Hollywood as the enduring center of the entertainment industry," said Rick Magnuson, Executive Managing Director, GI Partners. "GI is hopeful that Sunset-Gower will be the first of many investments in operating businesses and real estate assets throughout the media sector."
Included in the purchase of the 18 acre facility along Sunset Boulevard are 12 soundstages and the Nickelodeon Theater (formerly the Aquarius), a fully equipped, state-of-the-art live television performance theater. The studio also contains 325,000 square feet of office and support space. GI Partners intends to invest in physical improvements to the Sunset-Gower facilities, implement additional lot services, and pursue additional development on the property.
The entire existing operating team at Sunset-Gower, including General Manager Steve Auer, will continue in their existing capacities after the acquisition. Andrew Tainiter, a Director with GI Partners, will be headquartered on the lot, focusing on expanding service offerings, evaluating new opportunities, and pursuing strategic partnerships.
Built in the 1920's, Sunset-Gower was home to many of Columbia's most notable films, including "Death of a Salesman," "Lawrence of Arabia," "From Here to Eternity," "Funny Girl" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Classic television series including "Bewitched," "I Dream of Jeannie" and "The Flying Nun" were taped on the lot. In recent years television productions included "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," "Golden Girls," "JAG," "Barney Miller" and "Married with Children." Productions currently shooting at Sunset-Gower include HBO's "Six Feet Under," NBC's "American Dreams," UPN's "Eve," ABC's "Eyes," and Nickelodeon's local productions.
Acknowledging the studio's compelling legacy and vibrant future, Tainiter stated, "GI Partners will continue to operate Sunset-Gower as a production studio, building on the strong heritage and rich history of the property. We are committed to ensuring that Sunset-Gower remains one of the best places to film, produce, and do business in Hollywood."