Prime Focus raises $10 mn from PE fund, gets ready for JV in China

Prime Focus raises $10 mn from PE fund, gets ready for JV in China

MUMBAI: Hong Kong-based private equity firm AID Partners Capital has invested $10 million in Prime Focus World (PFW), a subsidiary of Mumbai-based television post-production and visual effects (VFX) company Prime Focus Group.

AID Partners Capital is making the investment through optionally convertible preference shares of PFW, valuing the company at $250 million. The conversion will amount to four per cent equity.

Prime Focus has planned a joint venture with AID Capital Partners Group and local partner Zhejiang Jingqi Wenhua Chuanbo Company to offer visual effects and 3D conversion services to the movie industry in the Greater China area.

The company?s board today approved the proposal to invest $3 million in the JV with AID Capital Partners. Through this JV, Prime Focus plans to provide its services including 2D to 3D conversion, Visual Effects (VFX), Clear cloud based platform services and post production services in markets like China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Prime Focus World Chairman & CEO Namit Malhotra said, ?From the initial investment that we made in PFW of $ 43 million in 2008, currently the business is valued more than five times. This is indeed great news for our shareholders as we fuel our next wave of growth.?

?3D and VFX are now key elements of big budget films. With the increasing budgets of tent pole movies, there is a tremendous demand for world-class 3D and VFX services. We look forward to working with the leadership of Prime Focus to offer top notch creative services to the film and entertainment industry globally and in the Greater China region in particular,? said AID Partners Principal Partner Kelvin Wu.

PFW is one of the world?s leading value-added creative and technical service providers for 2D to 3D content conversion, VFX and animation services. It has worked on popular 3D motion films including The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (by Fox), Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace (by Lucasfilm), and Shrek (by DreamWorks Animation).

In November last year, Standard Chartered PE invested $70 million in Prime Focus which included $35 million as equity for a 19.71 per cent stake and $35 million through NCDs. In December, Prime Focus had successfully redeemed FCCBs worth $79 million.

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