London-Based VFX Titan DNEG Announces IPO, Aims To Raise $191 Million
Vfx company DNEG has announced that it will float on the London Stock Exchange. Here’s what we know so far.
- DNEG, which is based in London, is hoping to raise $191 million (£150 million) from its initial public offering of at least 25% of the company. According to a Reuters report, it will start taking investor orders in early November — provided that Brexit-related uncertainty has settled by then.
- The company produces visual effects for a wide range of live-action features and tv series. It has been nominated for eight Oscars in the visual effects category, and won five: Inception (2010), Interstellar (2014), Ex Machina (2015), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), and First Man (2018). Its tv work includes Chernobyl, Black Mirror, and Catch-22.
- In 2014, DNEG set up a feature animation division, which is led by former Dreamworks producer Tom Jacomb. Having struck up a production partnership with new studio Locksmith Animation, it is currently at work on Locksmith’s debut feature Ron’s Gone Wrong.
- “This is a golden age for premium content as major markets re-establish their love for film, especially with the exponential growth of high-quality streamed content,” said CEO Namit Malhotra. “We have built a recognized and trusted brand, along with a large, growing, and loyal customer base across the major international movie studios in Hollywood and Bollywood, as well as the newcomers in the streaming space such as Netflix and Hulu.”
- DNEG used to be known as Double Negative. Opening in 1998, the company established a reputation for high-end vfx. It became the go-to studio for Christopher Nolan and the Harry Potter franchise, among others.
- In 2014, Double Negative merged with Prime Focus World, the creative services arm of Indian media company Prime Focus (which Malhotra founded), to form DNEG. It now has offices in Vancouver, Montreal, L.A., and numerous Indian cities, and employs nearly 7,000 people.
- The company had revenues of $309 million (£245.5million) in its most recent full year, with adjusted pre-tax profits of $69.6million (£55.3million). It had a profit of $20.7 million dollars (£16.5 million).
(Image at top: from a breakdown of DNEG’s vfx work on “Alita: Battle Angel.”)