Sony’s SFX unit ventures to India

Imageworks acquires stake in FrameFlow

Sony’s SFX unit Sony Pictures Imageworks has acquired a 51% stake in Indian visual effects and animation studio FrameFlow. Unit will be renamed Imageworks India. Transaction cost was not revealed, but local sources value the deal at $5 million.

Imageworks India is expected to work closely with Culver City operations and to quadruple its output over coming years, following injection of infrastructure, tech and training. The three-year-old company was involved in 12 movies and has previously worked on “Click,” Ghost Rider” and “Spider Man 3.”

FrameFlow is based in Chennai and currently employs 80 people, but is expected to relocate to facility with space for 300.

“This partnership with Sony Pictures Imageworks is a testament to the passion and talent of our team and creative leadership of Krishnakant Mishra,” FrameFlow co-founder Hitesh Shah said. Shah now becomes co-managing director Imageworks India with Sony Pictures Imageworks executive vice president Jenny Fulle.

“We are going to be investing in infrastructure and proprietary technology software, besides offering high-end training, and expect to generate revenues to the tune of $20 million over next three years,” Fulle said.

Fulle said that move is about “partnership and not offshoring.” While current focus is on visual effects, long term goal is to get into high-end animation works,” he said.

After the takeover, company is expected to continue to service third party productions.

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