Prime Focus extends with pair of buys

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Postproduction and visual effects business Prime Focus Group is significantly expanding its global footprint with the acquisition of Post Logic Studios and Frantic Films VFX. Terms of the deals were not disclosed, and the transaction is subject to the regulatory approval of shareholders.

The move gives Prime Focus ownership of one of the larger post/VFX operations in Los Angeles as well as a presence in additional key North American cities. In Post Logic, the move also signals the sale of one of the few remaining large independently owned post houses in Southern California.

Prime Focus Group already is one of India's largest post/VFX businesses with six facilities across that country, as well as sites in London that make up Prime Focus U.K.

The latest deal brings to Prime Focus facilities in Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver and Winnipeg, including ownership of Post Logic's 55,000-square-foot complex in Hollywood. Plan are for Frantic's Los Angeles operation to move into the Post Logic space, where Prime Focus' L.A. operation will house 200 new staff members.

Prime Focus managing director Namit Malhotra said the business structure for the North American operations is still to be determined. He said plans are for both company names to remain in place for at least the foreseeable future. CEO Larry Birstock will continue to lead Post Logic, and Frantic Films co-founder Chris Bond will continue to helm the Frantic venture.

"We are extremely excited about investing in the incredible talent pool both at Frantic Films and Post Logic," Malhotra said. "These companies have developed proprietary technologies and processes for film color management, visual effects and pipeline collaboration, and we will share and transfer these technologies to benefit all of the Prime Focus Group companies."

Plans also call for the operations to share talent, meaning that work could be sent to India or London, and vice versa. Prime Focus has about 1,000 employees in India and an additional 250 in London.

Birstock and Bond both said that the global infrastructure was an attraction in the deal. Bond added that the VFX capabilities will allow Frantic to scale for larger projects.

Hollywood- and New York-based Post Logic offers digital intermediate, color science and post services.

Frantic Films VFX maintains offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver and Winnipeg. Prime Focus also acquired R&D unit Frantic Films Software.

Frantic also operates a live-action production and television commercial division that will not be a part of the deal. Bond remains a director of that entity but is no longer an employee.

Prime Focus Group is valued at $400 million. Prime Focus U.K. was formed last year after the equity investment in effects and post company VTR.
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