VFX Software Firm The Foundry Sold for $312M

HgCapital closed a deal to acquire majority ownership from investor The Carlyle Group.
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The Foundry, the U.K.-headquartered VFX software firm best known for the widely-used Nuke compositing system, has a new owner. On Wednesday, U.K.-based private equity firm HgCapital closed a deal to acquire majority ownership from investor The Carlyle Group for £200 million ($312 million).

It’s been rumored that the company was to be acquired by Adobe, but speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Foundry CEO Bill Collis asserted that this was “just a rumor. I was keen to keep The Foundry private.”

The Foundry was formed in 1996 and developed VFX plug-ins until it was sold to Digital Domain in 2007. As a subsidiary of the VFX house, it took over development of Nuke, which at the time was an in-house tool. Two years later, Collis and his partner, co-founder Simon Robinson, organized a management buyout that included the Nuke technology. A majority stake was sold to Carlyle in 2011.

With the latest deal, Collis said it's “business as usual” but he hopes to grow more quickly with HgCapital's support, with both acquisitions and in-house development.

At the recent National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, The Foundry previewed new tools for Nuke aimed at virtual reality content production.

“There are so many elements about The Foundry that we find attractive, not the least of which is the core management team,” said Nic Humphries, managing partner of HgCapital, in a statement. “Bill and his team love nothing more than running head on into the challenges facing creative industries, developing exciting disruptive technologies that have huge potential.”