The Foundry Announces Management Buyout

Press Release from The Foundry

London, UK, 3rd June, 2009: Leading visual effects software developer, The Foundry (www.thefoundry.co.uk), whose software products have been used to make many of the past year's biggest motion pictures, today announced a management buyout for an undisclosed sum led by Advent Venture Partners.

Advent has backed The Foundry's management team, led by CEO Dr Bill Collis and the original founders, in a transaction that sees the sale of the shareholdings of previous investors, Wyndcrest Holdings.

The Foundry is highly profitable and has more than doubled revenues in the last eighteen months to $10m. Advent's support will permit the company to continue expansion plans that have seen staff numbers more than double from 20 to over 50 in the past two years, necessitating the company's expansion into two additional floors of its Wardour Street headquarters.

Established in 1996, The Foundry is a world-leading innovator of visual effects and image-processing technologies that boost productivity in motion picture and video post production. The Foundry's product portfolio includes two AMPAS (Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences) Sci-Tech Award winners: Nuke, a high end compositing system, and Furnace, a collection of problem solving tools based on advanced motion estimation technology.

The Foundry has a well-established client base that includes leading visual effects facilities worldwide, such as Weta Digital in Wellington, New Zealand, Framestore in London, and Sony Imageworks and Digital Domain in Los Angeles. It is at the cutting edge of software development, marketing and sales for visual effects compositing. With Nuke, The Foundry has been taking significant share from the market leader, Apple's Shake product, since 2007, and Advent believes it will become the industry standard over the next few years.

Nuke was originally developed by Los Angeles post-production house, Digital Domain, before becoming part of The Foundry's offering in 2007. Since then, The Foundry has invested aggressively in the product's development, culminating in 12 software releases.

The Foundry's products have facilitated ambitious effects sequences on numerous major Hollywood blockbusters including: THE DARK KNIGHT, THE HARRY POTTER FRANCHISE, SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET; SPEED RACER; IRON MAN, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON*, STAR TREK, AUSTRALIA, WATCHMEN, X-MEN ORIGINS, WOLVERINE and many more.

Commenting on the completion of the transaction, Bill Collis, CEO of The Foundry said, "The Foundry is renowned for responding to user need and developing useful tools that boost productivity. With the backing of our previous investors, we enjoyed substantial growth and are now in a strong position to take the business forward with our new partners. We are ready to realise our further ambitions for Nuke and the rest of our product portfolio, ensuring the company goes from strength to strength whilst maintaining strong customer focus."

Mike Chalfen, General Partner at Advent Venture Partners, remarked, "We are delighted to be backing an innovative and entrepreneurial management team with such a strong reputation and enviable market leading track record that together will generate interesting opportunities for this business. The Foundry's products are ubiquitous in its field, its Ocula 3D stereoscopic technology is poised to dominate its market, and the company is a true European digital technology success story. Furthermore, our investment fits with Advent's strategic focus of backing capital efficient, defensible and differentiated businesses that have a number of levers to make money for shareholders. We look forward to working with the team to realise the company's enormous potential."

*THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON earned BAFTA and Oscar Awards for Visual Effects as well as a plethora of VES (Visual Effects Society) awards including Achievement in Compositing.