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Prime Focus to buy US studio

November 17, 2007 11:35 IST
Prime Focus, a post-production and visual effects service company is close to acquiring a special effects studio situated on the west coast of United States.

The deal size is reportedly pegged at around $100 million or under Rs 400 crore. Prime Focus is a leading integrated post production and visual effects services company. 

"There certainly is a prospective deal," said an executive from Prime Focus, but refused to divulge any more details.                       

In September this year, Prime Focus acquired the Ronnie Screwvala-promoted UTV Software Communications' post production business.

Under the deal, UTV Software Communications will transfer all rights, title, ownership and usage of the brand, mark and related intellectual property rights of the brand "USL" to the Mumbai-based company.

However, following the deal, Prime Focus is catering to the post-production of UTV's movies and television content. 

In May 2006, Prime Focus bought a 55 per cent stake in VTR Group for £4.5 million ($8.47million). The deal was the largest foreign acquisition by an Indian media company.

VTR is a £20 million European media service company with over 20 years of post-production and visual effects experience in the UK.

The managing director of Prime Focus, Namit Malhotra had then revealed the company's plans about setting up studios in Hyderabad, US and Dubai, besides an outsourcing centre for high-end visual effects and animation.

He had also spoken about eyeing acquisitions in the US, especially Los Angeles. After the acquisition of VTR, Malhotra took over as its chairman.

The consolidated revenues of Prime Focus in the year ended March 31, 2007 stood at Rs 203.67 crore (Rs 2.03 billion) and its PAT was Rs 21.37 crore (Rs 213.7 billion). Prime Focus has been executing post production and visual effects work for both Hollywood and Bollywood movies.

It undertook the post production work for Hollywood movie 28 weeks later and Bollywood movies such as Guru, Sajid Khan's recent hit Hey Babby and Chak De India and Black.

Aminah Sheikh in Mumbai