Deluxe deal laps up Rainmaker units


Deluxe Entertainment Services Group is buying two units of Rainmaker Entertainment, one of Canada's largest post facilities, for $31 million.

The purchase will include Vancouver-based Rainmaker Visual Effects and Rainmaker Post, along with Rainmaker's visual effects facility in London. It would affect about 175 employees. The deal does not include Vancouver-based Rainmaker Animation.

The Deluxe Vancouver name is expected to be incorporated into the business following the acquisition.

Deluxe provides entertainment industry services and technologies to Hollywood studios and an international client base. Services include film processing, printing and distribution; postproduction and subtitling services; titles design and digital VFX; DVD compression, encoding and authoring; digital cinema, digital asset management, digital distribution and marketing fulfillment services; and digital intermediates via its Efilm brand.

Deluxe has been strategically adding to its slate of companies worldwide.

"We are excited to be acquired by one of Canada's leading postproduction facilities," Deluxe president and CEO Cyril Drabinsky said. "Entering the Vancouver market is a natural extension for us. Clients shooting in Vancouver will now have the choice of processing or digitizing their dailies locally with Deluxe before completing their projects through any one of Deluxe's film and digital finishing facilities worldwide."

After the sale, Rainmaker Entertainment will focus on production of computer-animated films and development of its own film properties. Warren Franklin will remain CEO. The animation unit is in production on the Weinstein Co.'s "Escape From Planet Earth" and in development on a 3-D feature trilogy based on Rainmaker's TV series "ReBoot" as well as additional 3-D titles that have not yet been announced.

The Deluxe deal, subject to approval by Heritage Canada and to other conditions, is expected to be completed by year's end.