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Sony flows into Indian f/x

Deal valued at $5 million

Hong Kong — Sony’s f/x 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 the coming years, following an injection of infrastructure, tech and training. The 3-year-old company was involved in 12 movies, and has worked on “Click,” “Ghost Rider” and “Spider Man 3.”

FrameFlow is based in Chennai, and employs 80 people, but is expected to relocate to a 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 of 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 the next three years,” Fulle said.

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

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

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