Prime Focus Gets $53 Million Equity Investment

CEO: Vfx studio is looking to buy companies, not sell

Visual effects and 3D conversion company Prime Focus World has secured some $53 million in additional equity investment and is not for sale, its CEO said Friday.

Indiatimes.com had reported that India-based Prime Focus Ltd. had appointed Macquarie Captial to find buyers for Prime Focus World, but CEO and founder Namit Malhotra said the report is wrong. “We raised this capital for Prime Focus to be able to build itself up further and actually look for acquisitions. We’re looking to buy companies, not sell,” adding that Macquaire had been asked to provide advisory services on the equity investment.

This latest round of investment will come from Macquarie Capital in two stages: $38 million in the first phase and $15 million in the second. The cash infusion comes following a $10 million investment from China’s AID Partners Capital in March and a $70 million investment from Standard Chartered Private Equity.

“There’s a view of the world that the vfx industry is defunct and doesn’t work and no financial group in the world is interested in putting money in it,” said Malhotra. “And I think what we are presenting is quite the opposite. What we believe is there is good opportunity if you have the right business model, financial partners and strategic players on board to boost this industry to be operating on a more globalized basis.”

Prime Focus was an aggressive bidder for bankrupt Rhythm & Hues earlier this year but was outbid by Prana Animation. Prime Focus’s recent credits include “World War Z” (pictured), “White House Down” and “The Great Gatsby.”

Prime Focus World’s leadership and creative centers are in Vancouver and London, with headquarters in Los Angeles and support services in India. The company also recently announced it is setting up a production hub in China. Malhotra said the new China facility will serve both domestic Chinese and Hollywood productions. “The joint venture we just announced gives us the ability to take the entire bouquet of services we provide to the Chinese market,” said Malhotra. “We should be able to provide complete services from China depending on which way projects actually flow.”

Malhotra said following Prime Focus’s investment in Vancouver, it has had no plans to open a facility in Montreal to take advantage of the increased incentives there, but “it’s not off the radar.” As for the call for greater California tax incentives for post, he said, “I would obviously welcome that move, because some of the best talent worldwide is in California. … Clearly the challenges are beyond any specific organization to control, and we certainly would promote that if there was a prospect of that happening.”

More Biz

  • John FordNPact Awards, Show, Los Angeles,

    John Ford to Exit as Head of Unscripted Producers Trade Association NPact

    John Ford has stepped down as general manager of NPact, the trade association that represents unscripted TV producers. Ford is exiting the post he’s held since 2015 because of the potential for conflicts of interest arising from his role as head of programming for digital multicast outlets Justice Network and Quest Network. The channels were [...]

  • Woodstock 50 Applies for Vernon Downs

    Woodstock 50 Applies for Vernon Downs Permit Yet Again

    For better or worse, Woodstock 50 isn’t giving up on Vernon Downs, despite being rejected twice already: The producers have applied for another permit to hold the festival at Vernon Downs, according to the Utica Observer Dispatch. Town Attorney Vincent Rossi confirmed the application was submitted Wednesday. This is the festival’s third application; previous applications [...]

  • Bert and Ernie

    Sally Field, Linda Ronstadt and 'Sesame Street' Among 2019 Kennedy Center Honorees

    Sally Field, Linda Ronstadt, “Sesame Street,” conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and R&B veterans Earth, Wind and Fire have been selected as the 2019 Kennedy Center Honorees. The kudos will be handed out Dec. 8 at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C. The award to “Sesame Street” marks the first time the prestigious laurel [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    Jeffrey Epstein Denied Bail in Sex Trafficking Case

    Jeffrey Epstein, the high-living financier who partied and traveled with Hollywood stars and world leaders, has been denied bail. The multimillionaire businessman is accused of sexually abusing underage girls as young as 14 years old and collecting child pornography. Prosecutors argued successfully that Epstein’s wealth made him a serious flight risk. He faces up to [...]

  • AWAL Names Bianca Bhagat as Senior

    AWAL Names Bianca Bhagat as Senior VP, Synch & Brand Partnerships

    AWAL, Kobalt’s recorded music company, announced the hiring of Bianca Bhagat as senior vice president, synch & brand partnerships. Based in Los Angeles, she will oversee AWAL’s global synch & brand partnerships team, pursuing creative marketing opportunities for the AWAL roster, according to the announcement. Most recently with Glassnote, leading the Film and TV department [...]

  • iheartmedia logo

    iHeartMedia Stock Drops in NASDAQ Debut

    Shares of iHeartMedia, the U.S.’s biggest radio network, fell as much as 7% after they commenced trading Thursday on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, and ended the day down around 3%. Last month, after exiting a year-long bankruptcy reorg, iHeartMedia announced it was approved for listing on NASDAQ, instead of pursuing an IPO. The company’s [...]

  • Netflix Reed Hastings

    Netflix Shares Dive After Q2 Stumble: Just a Hiccup or Sign of Bigger Trouble?

    Netflix badly undershot its subscriber forecasts for the second quarter of 2019 — posting its first net U.S. customer decline since 2011 while growth slowed considerably overseas. The company added 2.7 million subs worldwide, almost half as many as the 5 million it had projected. With the big miss, Netflix shares took a predictable hit, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content