Cinespace Studios Sold for $1.1B to TPG Real Estate

Cinespace Studios Sold for $1.1B to TPG Real Estate

BY ETAN VLESSING | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren for CNT #Business #RealEstate

The soundstages for Dick Wolf’s ‘Chicago Fire’ and Netflix’s ‘Umbrella Academy’ have been picked up by the real estate investor amid a streaming content boom.

TPG Real Estate Partners has purchased studio campuses in Toronto and Chicago belonging to Cinespace Studios, home to production of major films and TV series like Dick Wolf’s Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med, Netflix’s Umbrella Academy and MGM’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s understood from a source close to the transaction that the real estate equity investment arm of asset firm TPG paid around $1.1 billion for Cinespace Studios in Chicago and Cinespace Toronto. The indie studio operator was founded by the Toronto-based Mirkopoulos family in 1988, and the Chicago campus was launched in 2010.

Cinespace Toronto has 23 production stages across the city, with another 12 stages planned for development on more than 40 acres. Cinespace Chicago has 33 stages, with an additional 15 stages to be developed or converted on more than 60 acres.

The acquisition of Cinespace comes as the streaming content boom has Wall Street and hedge funds eyeing studio campuses for acquisition. “Consumer appetite for original content is a growing secular trend that has accelerated through the pandemic, leading to a dramatic increase in the demand to produce new films and television and in turn, a surge in the need for studio space,” said Avi Banyasz, partner and co-head of TPG Real Estate, in a statement.

Netflix launching a production hub in Toronto by locking up eight soundstages — four each at Pinewood Toronto Studios and Cinespace Film Studios — in turn sparked a local space race by Hollywood streaming giants scrambling for soundstages on which to create new high-quality film and TV content.

Cinespace’s flagship studio campus on Kipling Avenue in Toronto has played host to shoots for Reign, Beauty and the Beast, Goon: Last of the Enforcers and 12 Monkeys. The company’s Booth Avenue Studios hosted shoots for Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain, Heroes: Reborn, Rupture and Between. Cinespace Chicago Film Studios has been home to NBC’s Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Chicago P.D.

As part of the acquisition, Eoin Egan and Keith Gee will join Cinespace as co-managing partners and COO and CFO, respectively. Egan most recently was head of production services at Netflix, and Gee was the CEO of Strive and CFO and president of LifeStorage, two former TREP portfolio companies.

Cinespace intends to continue growing its studio base following the transaction. “This enterprise has been a true family business, and today’s transaction marks another important milestone in our 33-year history. In TPG, we’ve found a partner who loves our great city of Toronto, respects Cinespace’s heritage and tradition of philanthropy, and has the expertise and resources to help lead the company into its next phase of growth,” said Steve Mirkopoulos, president and CEO of Cinespace Toronto.

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By Troy Warren

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