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Framestore Sells Majority Stake to Chinese Investors

Shanghai-based Cultural Investment Holdings to acquire 75 percent of the Oscar-winning VFX studio’s business in a deal valued at $187 million; Framestore founder & CEO William Sargent to retain minority stake.

Oscar-winning U.K. VFX house Framestore has agreed to a new investment deal giving Chinese conglomerate Cultural Investment Holdings Co. a majority stake in the company, according to a report by Sky News.

The Shanghai-based investment group will acquire 75 percent of the studio behind award-winning visual effects for films such as Gravity, Superman Returns and the Harry Potter franchise in a deal valued it at $187 million. Framestore served as the main VFX vendor for the upcoming Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and is currently working on Paddington 2.

Framestore founder and CEO, William Sargent, and the rest of the management team, will reportedly retain ownership of the remaining 25 percent of the company. The agreement is still pending approval by the Chinese government.

“Partnering with CIH positions us both creatively and financially to be the leaders in the world of story-telling across all visual platforms,” Sargent commented about the deal. “This builds on our strength in Europe and North America, and will accelerate our move into the exciting Chinese market, as well as open up other rapidly expanding markets in Asia.”

Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, which acquired 30 percent of the company in 2014, is one of the shareholders who have agreed to sell their stake in the company.

The news arrived on the same day that Wanda confirmed its acquisition of Golden Globes producer Dick Clark Productions for $1 billion.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.