Digital Domain, the once-storied visual effects house co-founded by director James Cameron, has emerged from bankruptcy with new Chinese and Indian owners vowing to expand the Los Angeles-based studio.
Digital Domain Media Group announced Sunday that it had accepted a bid from Galloping Horse America, a division of a Beijing media company, and Reliance MediaWorks, part of the Indian conglomerate Reliance Group, to buy the company's visual effects studios in Venice, Calif., and Vancouver, Canada, for $30.2 million.
The deal closed Thursday and effectively removes Digital Domain from a potentially protracted Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by its parent company in Florida this month. That filing caused the near-shutdown of the company's new animation building in Port St. Lucie, Fla., laying off most of its 320 workers.
"We're unencumbered," said longtime Digital Domain executive Ed Ulbrich, who was recently named chief executive of Digital Domain Productions. "This allows us to expand our capacity and to grow our business offshore. We have immense gratitude to our new ownership, and to our employees."
Founded in 1993 by "Titanic" and "Avatar" director Cameron and other partners, Digital Domain has created special effects for more than 90 movies, including "Titanic," "Tron: Legacy," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and the "Transformers" films. (Cameron no longer has a stake in the company.)