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Warner Bros to buy Harry Potter studio in England

LONDON (AP) — The U.S.-based entertainment company Warner Bros announced on Monday plans to buy and expand the English studios where the Harry Potter films are made.

Warner Bros said it will invest roughly 100 million pounds ($161 million) in a major expansion of the Leavesden Studios.

Chairman and chief executive Barry Meyer said the investment will give Warner Bros a full-time production base in Britain.

“For 86 years, Warner Bros has been intrinsically involved in film production in the U.K.,” he said. “Our multimillion-pound investment in creating a state-of-the-art, permanent U.K. film production base further demonstrates our long-term commitment to, and confidence in, the skills and creativity of the UK film industry.”

The purchase price was not announced. Further details are expected to be released Wednesday. The enlargement program is set for completion in 2012.

The studio has been used for production of all the Harry Potter movies and other recent hits, including “The Dark Knight” and “Inception.”

Leavesden Studios is based at a former airfield where aircraft were built during World War II and shortly afterward. It was later used by Rolls-Royce for the construction of airplane engines.

The studio is near Watford, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of London.

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