VFX House Cinesite Expands Into Germany with Trixter Acquisition

Rocket - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Sneak Peek Still - H 2017

U.K.-headquartered visual effects house Cinesite is expanding into Germany with a deal to acquire Munich-headquartered VFX animation studio Trixter. With Cinesite being a privately-owned company, it didn't disclose any financial terms of the deal.  

In addition to its Soho headquarters, Cinesite maintains bases in Montreal and Vancouver, including Image Engine, which it acquired in 2015. With the completion of the Trixter deal, it intends to retain the company's name and bases in Munich and Berlin.

Trixter's recent work has included segments of Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as well as Netflix series Lost in Space, which is currently nominated for a VFX Emmy. It was founded by Simone Kraus Townsend and Michael Coldewey (also a professor at the Munich Filmschool), and employs roughly 220 professionals. But the company ran into financial difficulties and, in July this year, began temporary insolvency proceedings as it looked for a potential buyer.

A spokesperson confirmed that the senior team in Germany would remain in place. Regarding the Trixter employees, they said that "the cost base needs to be sensibly proportioned for the revenue earner it has," but added that Cinesite's "commitment to all employees' well-being and security" would be paramount. 

“The Trixter team has a fantastic reputation for producing high-quality concept art and character design alongside complex VFX and feature animation," said Cinesite group CEO Antony Hunt in a released statement. "In partnering with Trixter, we are executing our strategic objective of enhancing our market position in both VFX and animation and getting the benefit of an amazing creative team of people in Munich and Berlin. The skills transfer, technology collaboration, shared resources and approaches across our international studios brings benefits to all our teams and the quality of the work they create."

Earlier this year, Cinesite secured a $70 million financial capacity plan with asset manager Pemberton Capital. Its credits include work on Ant Man & The Wasp, Skyscraper, Avengers Infinity War, HBO's Game of Thrones and upcoming Mary Poppins Returns, Robin Hood and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.