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Reliance MediaWorks to Buy Into Prime Focus

Indian giants combine forces to finance Double Negative acquisition.

HONG KONG — Reliance MediaWorks, the film services arm of India’s Reliance ADA Group, is to combine forces with Prime Focus, another Indian post-production and tech services group with global ambitions.

RMW is to pay INR1.2 billion ($20.1 million) for a stake in Bombay Stock Exchange-listed Prime Focus. That sum will be matched by a similar cash injection from Prime Focus’s core owners. RMW’s stake in the enlarged group will be 30.2%, while Prime Focus’s core owners will hold 33.5%.

RMW will also merge its large, wide-ranging and currently loss-making film and media services activities into the group.

Proceeds of two cash injections will be used to fund the acquisition of Double Negative, announced last week by Prime Focus World, Prime Focus’s digital effects unit.

The enlarged Prime Focus group will include Hollywood brand names Lowry Digital (100% owned by RMW), RMW’s 30% stake in Digital Domain, PFW’s soon to be acquired Double Negative and Prime Focus’s own 2D to 3D conversion business.

Globally it will have 5,500 employees, operate from 20 locations and boast combined revenues of INR18 billion ($302 million).

Its range of services will span VFX, stereo 3D conversion, animation, digital media solutions for the film, TV and advertising industries and equipment rental and operation of sound stages in India.

Namit Malhotra will be the executive chairman and global CEO of Prime Focus Ltd.

“We are hugely excited about the transformational growth opportunity created by the powerful combination of the global film and media services business of Reliance MediaWorks and Prime Focus,” said Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, group MD, Reliance Group, in a prepared statement.

“This is a very exciting time in the life of Prime Focus,” said Namit Malhotra, founder of Prime Focus and executive chairman & group CEO, Prime Focus Group, in the same announcement. “From being able to partner the world’s finest visual effects provider Double Negative, to having the Reliance Group come on board, to help mobilize our strategy in building the bridge between the West and the East, I am very confident about the benefits this combination brings to all our customers, employees and stakeholders worldwide.”

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