Authorization

Concerns raised over US developer picked for 'Made in Dagenham' studios project

Plans to turn an industrial corner of Dagenham into studios for filming blockbuster movies have been thrown into doubt, after concerns were raised about the chequered past of the US ­developer chosen to build the scheme.
Pacifica Ventures, a California-based studio owner, was chosen last month to develop the 20-acre “Made in Dagenham” film studios. Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, hailed the choice, saying it would help cement London as a “global capital for film”, while ­Dagenham council leader Darren ­Rodwell said the Pacfica joint venture had “emerged as the clear winner based on their track record”.
The site has been derelict since French drug firm Sanofi closed its factory there in 2013, with 450 jobs lost. However, concerns have been raised about Pacifica and its boss Hal Katersky’s past run-ins with the US courts and a previous studio bankruptcy.
Pacifica’s attempt to buy Elstree ­Studios in Hertfordshire in 2007 was ­rebuffed after the council discovered its contentious past in due diligence; Pacifica says the parties fell out over separate liability issues.
Andrew Boff, Conservative member of the London Assembly, told The Telegraph: “I am concerned Dagenham council appears to have entered into a Carillion-style contract. The people who develop this site need to have a completely squeaky clean reputation. So these are not the sort of people we should be going into business with.”
Concerns raised over US developer picked for 'Made in Dagenham' studios project

Dagenham is better known for its manufacturing industry, including a major Ford plant

Credit:
Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg
Mr Katersky and an associate were sued in 2007 for more than $1m (?0.7m) for allegedly misspending company funds while managing California’s The Culver Studios ­between 2004 and 2006. They denied the claims, with Mr Katersky ­previously saying it was a “totally fallacious suit”. The case was dismissed. In 2010 Pacifica Mesa, which runs Albuquerque Studios in New Mexico, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, claiming debts of nearly $105m.
Pacifica says the studio was owned by banks and was only bankrupt for 11 months. Mr Katersky has also previously been named in a securities fraud case in Oklahoma, which was settled. John Graham, the former leader of Hertsmere borough council, told The Telegraph that Pacifica was stopped from buying Elstree Studios because the council’s professional advisers raised concerns.
A Dagenham council spokesman said: “Pacifica Ventures have been ­chosen as the preferred bidder, and they have a credible track record as one of the largest film studio operators in the world. There will, however, now be a lengthy process of due diligence and negotiation before we enter into any contract with them.” 
A Pacifica Ventures spokesman said: “These ­allegations are misleading and ­deliberately distort the facts of the ­matter.  We look forward to bringing [our] proven record of success to ­Dagenham and East London.”
See also:
Leave a comment
News
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Апрель 2018    »
ПнВтСрЧтПтСбВс
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30