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Digital Domain closer to IPO

April 08, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Digital Domain, one of Hollywood's top special-effects shops, is ramping up its plans to go public.

The Venice-based creator of effects for films including "Titanic," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and "Transformers," hopes to sell 6 million shares at $12 to $14 each, according to an updated prospectus filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company was bought in May 2006 for a reported $35 million by an investor group that included director Michael Bay.

The plans for an initial public offering were first disclosed in December. Since then, the proposed IPOs of many companies have been sidelined by Wall Street's recent upheaval.

Digital Domain is well known for its work in feature films and TV advertising, but it has been bleeding red ink since 2004. The company lost $20 million last year on revenue of $78 million.

None of Digital Domain's existing shareholders is selling stock in the deal, which would raise an estimated $70 million after expenses if the stock is sold at $13 apiece, according to the prospectus.

The company says it expects to use $25 million of the proceeds to pay debt and the rest to expand the business -- including a push into video-game development and production.

The stock would trade under the symbol DTWO.

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