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VFX Software Company The Foundry Sold for $312M (updated: check out HgCapital’s Press Release)

Ok, so a bunch of us were wrong. We though that maybe Adobe might pick up The Foundry in a move from the “Match Made in Heaven” file. In the end, it was HgCapital who closed a deal to acquire majority ownership from The Foundry’s principal investor, The Carlyle Group.

So there it is. The Foundry, a U.K.-headquartered VFX software firm best known for their Hollywood-approved compositing system, Nuke, has been bought by the U.K.-based private equity firm HgCapital, who closed a deal to acquire majority ownership from investor The Carlyle Group for £200 million ($312 million).

While sources claimed that Adobe was a potential purchaser, Foundry CEO Bill Collis told Hollywood Reporter that this was “just a rumor. I was keen to keep The Foundry private.”

For those new to the company, The Foundry was formed back in 1996 and has developed visual effect plug-ins until it was sold to motion picture effect powerhouse Digital Domain in 2007. While existing as a subsidiary of Digital Domain, The Foundry took over development of Nuke, which had been an in-house tool up to that point. 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.

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.”

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.

Wanna try Nuke for free? Check this out:

Here is HgCapital’s press release:

The Foundry Kicks off Next Growth Phase With New Majority Owner

HgCapital Share Company’s Vision to Deliver Disruptive Technologies to Creative Industries

The Foundry, a leading provider of award-winning creative software, announced a majority investment from HgCapital, one of the UK’s most prestigious private equity firms. Comprising experts from technology and business sectors, HgCapital are perceived as one of the top investors in European software. The Foundry will sit within the Technology, Media & Telecommunications (“TMT”) sector of HgCapital. Under the terms of the deal, HgCapital will assume majority ownership from The Carlyle Group for an enterprise value of £200 million ($312 million).

“Knowing the direction we plan to take The Foundry, we identified that HgCapital was the ideal partner to build on what The Carlyle Group have helped us achieve,” said Bill Collis, chief executive officer, The Foundry. “Nic and his team have such deep software experience, take a long term view on investing and have an amazing track record in taking already solid companies to even greater levels of success. HgCapital achieve this through investment, both in R&D and people, with a deep respect for customer loyalty and satisfaction.”

“With this deal, we remain one of the few independent companies solely focused on creative industries. This lets us pursue our best-in-class strategy, prioritizing research and innovation; and teaming with other companies to create powerful collective solutions.”

“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 and the head of the TMT team. “This is a company that constantly innovates, both in terms of their technology, as well as their business. 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.”

The Foundry’s development philosophy centres on the needs of the artists, designers and storytellers identified through our incredibly collaborative customer relationships. Solutions, whether built from the ground up, acquired or developed with partners, will always focus on today’s business challenges and future opportunities.

This will leverage our world-class experience in visual effects, design and games. It continues our leadership in emerging trends around collaborative ideation, the automation of creativity, concurrent marketing and manufacturing, as well as new behaviours in storytelling, media collaboration, creation and consumption, such as VR and AR.

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