Galloping Horse America and Reliance MediaWorks win joint bid to acquire Digital Domain and Mothership.
VENICE, CA –
Digital Domain Media Group has announced that a joint venture, led by Beijing-headquartered Galloping Horse America, LLC in partnership with Mumbai-based Reliance MediaWorks, Inc., submitted the winning bid to acquire the visual effects, Mothership Media and certain other businesses and assets of Digital Domain Productions, Inc. (Digital Domain) and subsidiaries for $30.2 million at a September 21, 2012 auction in New York. The sale is subject to execution of an asset purchase agreement and bankruptcy court approval, the hearing for which is currently scheduled for today (9/24).
Galloping Horse/Reliance will acquire all assets constituting the businesses of Digital Domain and Mothership--feature film and advertising visual effects, commercial production and virtual humans, studios in California and Vancouver, BC, Canada and a co-production stake in the feature film Ender's Game. Pursuant to section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, Galloping Horse/Reliance will acquire these assets free and clear of all claims and encumbrances, with the proceeds going to the bankruptcy estate. The businesses will continue to operate in the normal course of business, with the joint venture assuming ownership upon court approval.
Per the deal, Galloping Horse America will hold a 70 percent stake with Reliance MediaWorks holding a 30 percent interest in the Digital Domain joint venture. China eCapital served as the exclusive financial advisor to Galloping Horse and its affiliated parties in this transaction.
Galloping Horse and Reliance MediaWorks have a combined enterprise value of more than $25 billion, complementary offerings and presence in multiple worldwide geographies strategic to the entertainment industry.
"This is a great day for Digital Domain," said CEO Ed Ulbrich. "Our new partners have incredible strength and reach in the global entertainment marketplace. They are powerful strategic partners that understand our business and our clients' business. Their support enables us to continue creating the highest quality entertainment and advertising and puts us in the strongest financial position that Digital Domain has ever been in. We are grateful to all of the bidders and couldn't be more pleased with this outcome."
As previously announced, Searchlight Capital Partners had submitted a stalking horse bid for the Digital Domain and Mothership assets in the amount of $15 million. Under the Bankruptcy Code Digital Domain Media Group was required to engage in the process of seeking the highest and best bid for these assets in accordance with the bid procedures approved by the court.
Digital Domain Media Group filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on September 11, 2012 and ancillary relief in Canada, pursuant to the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry on September 18, 2012.
Source: Digital Domain Media Group
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.