British visual effects and animation firm Cinesite, which won an Emmy for its work on “Game of Thrones,” has nabbed an investment from Gryphion Capital Investments and new banking facilities from Barclays and NatWest that total $112 million.
The news comes as the British film and TV production sector eyes a potential upside to Brexit: Britain will be free to hike its production incentive as the country will no longer be subject to European Union state aid rules.
Cinesite has increased gross revenue by tenfold since 2014 through expanding its creative talent base, building out facilities and acquiring strategic business in key locations.
Further growth opportunities are evident in the high-end series space as demand for VFX rises thanks to the needs of Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple and Amazon to offer distinctive content to win new subscribers.
Barclays and NatWest will initially provide Cinesite with up to $52 million for general funding and revolving credit facilities. The group has a further $20 million in flexible facilities to deal with acquisition or expansion. Meanwhile, Gryphion has taken a minority equity position in the company, which will support growth.
London-based Cinesite operates facilities in Berlin, Montreal, Munich and Vancouver. The group has recently delivered VFX or animation for MGM’s “The Addams Family,” Paramount Pictures’ “Rocketman,” and Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Endgame” and “Captain Marvel & Spider-Man: Far From Home.” It won an Emmy for visual effects for the final season of “Game of Thrones,” and delivered VFX for the soon to be released Netflix series “The Witcher.”
Gryphion has taken an equity position in the company alongside current investors, which will further support the company’s growth strategy. Hans Oerlemans, managing director of Gryphion, said: “Seeing the achievements to date of the Cinesite business made it an easy decision for us to invest. The market served by Cinesite continues to present exciting growth opportunities as we foresee a strong increase in demand in the coming years. Cinesite is one of few leading providers that can consistently deliver the top quality that is needed in this market.”
David Munoz, director of technology, media and telecoms at NatWest Corporate Banking, commented, “We are delighted to be supporting Cinesite in their next phase of growth. Our position as a leading banking partner to the creative industries makes us the natural home for Cinesite. The management’s vision for the future represents an exciting opportunity for all stakeholders.”
Richard Green, relationship director for technology and media at Barclays, said: “We have a strong and longstanding relationship with Cinesite, so for Barclays to support them as they continue to establish themselves as a global player in a growing marketplace is important. It also underlines our ongoing commitment to this exciting sector and to working with clients who continue to innovate and grow in this arena.”
Antony Hunt, Cinesite Group CEO, said: “Securing this funding in the current uncertain climate is testament to the quality of our business and the position we have in the industry. It will enable Cinesite to move to the next level, benefiting our staff, customers and shareholders.
“We look forward to working with the teams at Gryphion, NatWest and Barclays on developing our creative talent base, capitalizing on the demand for our services across digital and traditional platforms, and accelerating strategic business development opportunities.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.