DNEG, a visual effects (VFX) and animation studio for the creation of feature film, television, and multiplatform content, announced today that Novator Capital Advisers, LLP (Novator) has invested $250 million in subsidiaries of Prime Focus Limited, the parent company of DNEG (“Prime Focus” or “the Group”), and personal holdings of its founder Namit Malhotra.
The Novator investment enables the group to streamline its structure, consolidate minority investments, and position DNEG for future growth. Malhotra will continue in his current role as DNEG chairman and CEO and will increase his ownership stake in the parent company from 35 per cent to approximately 70 per cent. Novator will own a 15 per cent stake in DNEG.
Malhotra said, “In my 25 years of experience building a global business, I can say without doubt that I have never seen such an explosion in demand for our services or a better time to form new content creation partnerships. The doubling of my equity investment in DNEG’s parent company is testament to my full commitment and total belief in the opportunity. DNEG is perfectly positioned to strategically align with our clients and partners to create compelling and successful content for global audiences, and as some of our key clients move into new areas such as gaming, our strategy, and the opportunity dovetail perfectly. With the backing of Novator, we are taking the next step in scaling and widening the scope of our business to capitalize on this huge opportunity, and I’m confident that this will make us an even stronger partner to our clients in both content services and content creation.”
DNEG has won five Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects in the last seven years (six in total), as well as multiple awards for its visual effects work on high-end episodic shows for OTT and streaming clients. With the investment from Novator, DNEG is well-positioned to capitalize on the high demand for its services in the burgeoning streaming content marketplace and explore opportunities in adjacent categories and formats, including gaming and original intellectual property (IP) content development and production. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ annual “Global Entertainment & Media Outlook” recently forecast global streaming revenues to hit $94B by 2025.
Novator chairman Thor Björgólfsson, who will join DNEG’s board of directors later this year, said, “The global explosion in demand for high-quality content across platforms has given rise to significant opportunities in the media and entertainment market, and we have identified DNEG as having all of the key components in place to take full advantage of these opportunities. Building on its award-winning legacy, we are backing Namit’s vision to accelerate DNEG’s evolution from pure services provider to content production and gaming services powerhouse for the entire eco-system.”
Novator partner Prabhu Narasimhan, who has joined DNEG’s board of directors, added, “I’m excited by the team’s commitment, vision and passion as they further position DNEG to take full advantage of the fast growing global OTT market and expand the Company’s capabilities into gaming and original content.”