Chairman Robin Millar, who acquired the facility in February last year for£4m, had an ambitious vision to expand into digital film dubbing and turn the studios into London's largest movie mixing theatre as well as moving into film and TV editing. But after failing to receive enough financial backing the plans failed to materialise and earlier this year the company entered talks with Pinewood.
Following a strategic review Millar admitted that he didn't know the film and television editing sector well enough. "Film is not my business," he told Broadcast.
Whitfield Street Studios is on the market for a fraction of its original price.
Chief executive David Anderson said that "extensive talks" with Pinewood (reported in Broadcast, 3.3.05) and another company, which he declined to name, had proved fruitless. Six of the company's 22 staff have already been laid off. Anderson was unable to confirm whether the remainder will stay on after the business is sold.
Chantrey Vellacott DFK's William Turner and Kevin Murphy have been appointed joint administrators and consultant surveyors Edward Symmons are seeking to sell the business as a going concern. The business includes four studios, seven post-production and mastering suites, audio kit, the leasehold on the W1 site and forward bookings. Technical kit on offer includes SSL mixing consoles and four HD Protools rigs. Recent projects include the completion of the latest album by The Darkness and mixing Depeche Mode's most recent work. Other big name recording artists to use the studios include Madonna and Ozzy Osbourne.
Millar denied that Whitfield Street has experienced financial difficulties, despite a disappointing slump in revenues from£2m to a projected£1.5m over the 12 months to November this year. "Business is okay," he said.
Millar blamed Pinewood's pull-out on uncertainty over the government's plan to support the film industry with tax breaks. "Tax incentives were up in the air over the past few months, and the film industry suffered," he added.
However Millar said he was confident that Whitfield Street will find a buyer.