The Carlyle Group to acquire The Foundry from Advent Venture Partners

US private equity company, The Carlyle Group has acquired a significant majority stake in The Foundry Visionmongers, a developer of visual effects software, from Advent Venture Partners and other stakeholders. Falcon Investment Advisors, LLC has converted its current ownership in The Foundry into mezzanine notes in support of the acquisition. The founders and management will continue to retain a significant minority stake. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in London with more than 100 employees, The Foundry has established itself as a critical technology partner to the major feature film studios and post production houses in the US and UK. The Foundry’s products have been used to make recent “must see” movies including Avatar, Tron: Legacy, Alice in Wonderland, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours and Black Swan – all award winners or nominees.

Commenting on the transaction, Dr. Bill Collis, CEO of The Foundry said, “Carlyle’s financial strength, extensive network, and track record in the management of software companies are great assets to our business. We’re exceptionally proud of our achievements over the past two years and have benefited significantly from the deep insight and timely guidance provided by Advent. We look forward to partnering with Carlyle and seeking new opportunities in current and new markets as we continue to progress and innovate.”

Since the management buyout of the Company in June 2009, the management team and founders have worked closely with Advent and Falcon to transform the Company from a best-of-breed plug-in developer to the leading industry visual effects software provider through a combination of unique product partnerships, sales execution, channel development and global expansion. During this period, headcount tripled from 35 to more than 100 and growth accelerated, with revenue increasing from £6.1 million to £14.9 million in 2010. The Company expanded its now 4,000-strong customer base to include The Moving Picture Company (MPC), Prime Focus, Dreamworks, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), Framestore, Cinesite, Double Negative and several other high-end facilities.

Mike Chalfen, General Partner at Advent Venture Partners, commented, “This transaction highlights the high quality growth equity opportunities available in European tech. The Foundry has become the global leader in its market, produced phenomenal revenue and profit growth, and executed ambitious product acquisition and channel development plans. To exceed expectations on all these dimensions required a clear view of where value would be created, and a strong leadership team to sustain tremendous commitment throughout the organisation.”

Arma Partners LLP acted as financial advisors and Morrison & Foerster LLP acted as legal advisors to The Foundry. Carlyle was advised by Travers Smith LLP.

UK, London

 

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