Leading independent digital animation & visual effects studio Cinesite has secured investment from Gryphion Capital Investments, along with new banking facilities from Barclays and NatWest which amount to USD $112 million.
Working together Barclays and NatWest will initially provide Cinesite with up to $52 million for general funding and revolving credit facilities. The independent studio group has a further $20m in future flexible facilities to deal with acquisition or expansion. In parallel, Gryphion Capital Investments has taken a minority equity position in the company which will further support Cinesite’s strategy for growth.
Headquartered in London, the Cinesite Group operates world class facilities in Berlin, Montreal, Munich and Vancouver. Collectively, it has recently delivered MGM’s box office smash The Addams Family, Paramount Pictures’ award-winning Rocketman, Marvel Studios’ record-breaking Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home. The group continues to be a key partner to high end TV and steaming productions, achieving an Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for the final season of Game of Thrones and delivering high quality fantasy VFX for the soon-to-be released Netflix series The Witcher.
The business has increased gross revenue by tenfold since 2014 through expanding its creative talent base, building out facilities and acquiring strategic business in key locations while delivering high quality solutions for its customers. As a result, the Cinesite group’s creative and technical talent is well placed to meet increasing customer demands for both high-end VFX and animated family entertainment.
This demand is partially driven by Netflix, Disney+, Apple and Amazons’ need to offer unique content to win new subscribers as well as the established studios who are also competing for audience dollars. The financing package will help the Cinesite group to facilitate new partnerships and collaborations with leading studios and filmmakers and secure its ability to continue to win market share.
“We are delighted to be supporting Cinesite in their next phase of growth,” commented David Munoz, Director of Technology, Media and Telecoms at NatWest Corporate Banking. “Our position as a leading banking partner to the creative industries makes us the natural home for Cinesite. The management’s vision for the future represents an exciting opportunity for all stakeholders.”
Barclays has been the core banker at Cinesite since 2013 and has supported the company on every step of its journey. Richard Green, Relationship Director for Technology and Media said “We have a strong and longstanding relationship with Cinesite, so for Barclays to support them as they continue to establish themselves as a global player in a growing marketplace is important. It also underlines our ongoing commitment to this exciting sector and to working with clients who continue to innovate and grow in this arena.”
Gryphion Capital Investments has taken an equity position in the company alongside current investors, which will further support the company’s growth strategy. Hans Oerlemans, managing director of Gryphion, said: “Seeing the achievements to date of the Cinesite business made it an easy decision for us to invest. The market served by Cinesite continues to present exciting growth opportunities as we foresee a strong increase in demand in the coming years. Cinesite is one of few leading providers that can consistently deliver the top quality that is needed in this market.”
Cinesite Group CEO, Antony Hunt, and the senior team will continue to lead the business from its London headquarters.
Commenting on the investment, Hunt said, “Securing this funding in the current uncertain climate is testament to the quality of our business and the position we have in the industry. It will enable Cinesite to move to the next level, benefitting our staff, customers and shareholders. We look forward to working with the team at Gryphion, NatWest and Barclays on developing our creative talent base, capitalising on the demand for our services across digital and traditional platforms, and accelerating strategic business development opportunities.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Cinesite retained Stonehage Fleming Advisory, and Tomorrow Partners LLP on equity and debt, respectively.
Established in 1991, Cinesite is headquartered in London with studios in Montreal and Vancouver alongside group VFX brands Image Engine and TRIXTER; collectively the group has capacity for over 1,550 artists and filmmakers. For more information, visit Cinesite.com