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Galloping Horse, Reliance join forces to buy Digital Domain

Beijing-based Galloping Horse and India’s Reliance MediaWorks (RMW) have formed a joint venture to buy bankrupt US visual effects studio Digital Domain for $30.2m.

The joint venture, between RMW and a US subsidiary of the Chinese media company, outbid other companies in a bankruptcy court auction at the end of last week. Galloping Horse owns 70% of the joint venture with RMW, a division of Mumbai-based giant Reliance ADA Group, owning the remaining 30%.

The acquisition covers all of Digital Domain’s assets including its studios in Los Angeles and Vancouver and a co-production stake in the feature Ender’s Game.

Both companies already have partnerships with Digital Domain that were established last year: Reliance tied up with the US company to open studios in London and Mumbai, while Beijing Galloping Horse formed a China-based joint venture with Digital Domain that was co-producing animated feature Legend Of Tembo.

“This is a great day for Digital Domain,” said Digital Domain CEO Ed Ulbrich. “Our new partners have incredible strength and reach in the global entertainment marketplace. They are powerful strategic partners that understand our business and our clients’ business.”

Ivy Zhong, vice chairman and managing director of Beijing Galloping Horse, said: “Digital Domain is a legend in the industry, known for its world-class quality of work and creative talent. We are thrilled to have found a partner in Reliance MediaWorks that is as committed as we are to ensuring Digital Domain’s continued excellence and success.”

Venkatesh Roddam, RMW’s CEO of film & media services, said: “We’ve had a wonderful working relationship with Digital Domain over the years and we could not be happier to take it further through the joint Galloping Horse - Reliance acquisition.”

Originally founded in 1993 by James Cameron, who no longer has a stake in the company, Digital Domain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month after defaulting on a series of loans.

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