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Management to Gain Control of Digital Domain Holdings

Daniel Seah, the young Chinese banker who chairs Digital Domain Holdings, is leading a management buyout of the storied visual effects firm.

In a regulatory filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange it was explained that Seah will pay $512 million (HK$3.97 million) for a 25% stake. The stake is being bought from Zhou Jian, former chairman and top shareholder.

The company said that Seah intends to use the entire stake “for the sole purpose of establishing an incentive scheme or arrangement for the benefit of the existing and future management.”

“Seah believes that it is important for the interest of the management and shareholders of the company to be aligned so as to speed up the realisation and fast development of the strategic goal of the company and maximise the value of the company,” the company said.

Digital Domain 3.0, a financially-restructured iteration of the troubled Los Angeles-based visual effects firm, was bought by Hong Kong listed scrap materials and property company Sun Innovation in July 2013. The listed company subsequently changed its name to Digital Domain Holdings. India’s Reliance MediaWorks holds a 30% stake.

In the past year Digital Domain Holdings has increasingly focused on virtual reality and character businesses. But in a second filing, the company was obliged to deny that it is planning to pull out of the old property and trading activities.

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