Digital Domain Media Group, a visual effects firm, has announced that a joint venture led by Galloping Horse America and Reliance MediaWorks (formerly Adlabs) has submitted a winning bid to acquire the company for $30.3 million. DD will continue to operate in the normal course of business once the US Bankruptcy Court approves the acquisition.
Galloping Horse, based in Beijing, will take 70% and Reliance, based in Mumbai, will take 30% of Digital Media. Galloping Horse and Reliance will acquire all the assets constituting the businesses of Digital Domain and Mothership — feature film, and advertising visual effects, commercial production, studios in California and Vancouver, BC, Canada and a co-production stake in the feature film “Ender’s Game”. The JV will also acquire assets free and clear of all claims with sale proceeds going to the bankruptcy estate.
Founded in 1993 by James Cameron with Stan Winston and Scott Ross, Digital Domain had filed voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 on September 11, 2012 in the United States Bankruptcy court and held a bankruptcy auction on Friday. Last year in May, Digital Domain had filed an initial prospectus with the US regulators for an IPO, to raise $115 million. The company has worked on visual effects for movies such as Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Thor and X-Men: First Class, Titanic, Pirates of Caribbean: At Worlds End, among others.
In 2009, Reliance Adlabs partnered with Steven Spielberg to provide financing for DreamWorks Studios, upon which it was renamed as Reliance MediaWorks. Previously, Reliance MediaWorks had partnered with Digital Domain Productions to set-up visual effects and 3D Stereo production services studios in Mumbai (India) and London (UK). The London studio, located within Reliance MediaWork’s UK facility, was to be connected via its fibre optic network for data transfer.
Apart from that, Reliance MediaWorks had also acquired iLab, a London based film processing and post production facility, for an undisclosed sum. In December 2009, Reliance MediaWorks had announced a partnership with 3D Stereo studio In-Three. Digital Domain’s parent company Digital Domain holdings acquired In-Three in November 2010. In-Three, through its patented technology Dimensionalization, specializes in 2D to 3D conversion of movies.