Visual effects firm Digital Domain sold for $30M

Associated Press Modified: September 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm •  Published: September 23, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — The bankrupt digital production company founded by director James Cameron will be sold to a joint venture formed between a Chinese media company and an Indian counterpart for $30.2 million.

A U.S. subsidiary of Beijing Galloping Horse Film & TV Co. and Mumbai-based Reliance MediaWorks teamed up to outbid other companies in a bankruptcy court auction Friday. The deal was announced by the companies Sunday night.

"Digital Domain is a legend in the industry, known for its world-class quality of work and creative talent," Ivy Zhong, vice chairman and managing director of Beijing Galloping Horse Film, said in a statement.

Galloping Horse will own 70 percent of the joint venue, with Reliance owning the other 30 percent.

"We have had a wonderful working relationship with Digital Domain over the years and we could not be happier to take it further," added Venkatesh Roddam, CEO of film & media services at Reliance MediaWorks.

Digital Domain, best known for its work on Cameron's "Titanic," has produced visual effects for more than 90 movies, including "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and the "Transformers" series. In April, its Tupac Shakur hologram made a splash when it took the stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and appeared to perform alongside Snoop Dogg.

But it defaulted on a series of loans and earlier this month said it would lay off about 280 workers and close its Florida facility. CEO John Textor, also the company's second-largest shareholder, resigned, protesting the decision.

The company filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Sept. 11 and sought similar protections from a Canadian court. The move came less than a year after Digital Domain went public, selling nearly 5 million shares at $8.50 each, below the expected $10 to $12 range.

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