Australia's Animal Logic Acquires Fuel VFX

The advertising and short form units of both companies will merge while each will keep their film work separate.

SYDNEY - Australian digital production company, Animal Logic, has come to the rescue of one time special effects competitor, Fuel VFX, acquiring the Fuel business after the company was placed into voluntary administration last month.

AL will keep the Fuel brand, which will now be known as Animal Logic Fuel, and continue to trade as Fuel VFX, with AL to shift its advertising and short form VFX post-production services into the Fuel business.

The acquisition price was not disclosed. In Australia voluntary administration is the process by which company directors call in specialists to do a restructure of a company, a sale of its business or liquidation of its assets to avoid bankruptcy or closure. The adminsitration is done by a third party, usually specialist accountants.

AL CEO Zareh Nalbandian said there is a great synergy between the two companies.  

“Fuel VFX represents some of Australia’s best design and visual effects talent and capabilities. Highly regarded around the world for its advertising and film VFX work, it is a name with a great pedigree and a solid future,” Nalbandian said.  

“We are committed to making sure that this great creative resource will not disappear from our Australian VFX landscape. The Fuel VFX name has deservedly gained an exceptional reputation over its 12 year history and I am excited to welcome it into the Animal Logic family,” he added.

Both companies will operate their own film VFX divisions, retaining distinct identities and individual client relationships.

Fuel VFX has built a solid relationship with Marvel, having most recently worked on The Avengers, Thor and Iron Man 2, as well as Prometheus. AL is currently working on Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs 3D and Warner Bros., Lego: The Piece of Resistance.

Fuel founders, Jason Bath, Paul Butterworth, Andrew Hellen, Simon Maddison and Dave Morley will stay with the company, which will be led by general manger Andrew Hellan. It will remain at its premises just several miles from ALs’ headquarters at Sydney’s Fox Studios.

Fuel’s EP of film VFX, Jason Bath said, “The ability for Animal Logic and Fuel to retain and grow their film VFX client relationships while being able to share proprietary knowledge and tools, and collaborate creatively with ease, is a strategic partnership that will enhance the operations of both companies.”

The deal marks further consolidation of the visual effects sector here, which is feeling the effects of a protracted downturn in vfx work and the continued high Australian dollar.

In August digital services and post production company Deluxe Australia Australia, a subsidiary of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc., acquired Omnilab Media’s creative and media Services businesses, including the visual effects, broadcast design and post production companies, Iloura, Digital Pictures, Cornerpost, Flagstaff, Boffswana and PAX Entertainment, and Digital Domain was forced to back away from plans to open a Sydney offshoot when Alex ProyasParadise Lost fell over, earlier this year.